Ted: Raunchy Comedy Marks 10th Anniversary

Mark Wahlberg, Ted, and Mila Kunis in Ted. Courtesy of Universal.

Ted, starring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, and Seth MacFarlane, marks the 10th anniversary since its theatrical release in 2012.

I’m going to be downright honest. I do mot know what 2012 me ever saw in Ted. It was, apparently, enough to purchase the film on Blu-ray in late November 2013. I wasn’t even writing for then-Flicksided at the time so I can’t even look at a previous review to see what I wrote. I’ll be back with a revised Top Films of 2012 list later this year but Ted will not be listed in the top comedies. This really speaks to just how much the film has aged rather poorly.

There are certainly jokes in Ted that have no business being in the film in 2022 let alone 2012. I mean, Ted and John are discussing opening up an Italian restaurant and letting the Jews in. Really?!? You really thought this would be a good joke?!? Did anyone stop and think about whether or not it is okay? The joke is cringe-worthy now in as much as it was ten years ago! It’s a scene and joke that keeps going longer than it should. Making matters worse is that the joke decides to land on an anti-Mexican punchline. Need I remind you right now that Peacock is going to be airing a streaming series that follows the films. After this rewatch in 2022, my interest in anything Ted is pretty sour.

In terms of the acting, both Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis have the necessary chemistry required for the film. At the same time, we know that her character can do so much better. All throughout the film, Lori (Mila Kunis) argues about John (Mark Wahlberg) and Ted’s (Seth MacFarlane) friendship. Lori only realizes Ted’s importance following a kidnapping and destruction. This is really where the film does try to tug at our emotions. I’ll admit that it also works but it doesn’t take away from how the film doesn’t age well.

Joel McHale’s Rex is an asshole boss who hits on his employees. Things end up getting so bad between Lori and John that she ends up dating Rex after John spends a night partying with Ted and Flash Gordon‘s Sam Jones. And again, this is another scene that spends way too much time focusing on it.

I can understand why Seth MacFarlane makes the choices he makes in the film. Look at the films that were popular during this era. Many of the popular comedies were Judd Apatow-produced films about man-children. It’s no wonder that Ted follows in this direction. But in watching the film a decade later, there are so many questions to ask. What is it about this genre that we really enjoyed? Sure, some of the Apatow films have not aged well but Seth MacFarlane goes for full cringe. Ted is not your mother’s Paddington and it shows.

Ten years after its release, films like Ted make one wonder what is it that we collectively saw in man-children on the screen.

DIRECTOR: Seth MacFarlane
SCREENWRITERS: Seth MacFarlane & Alec Sulkin & Wellesley Wild
CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi

Universal released Ted in theaters on June 29, 2012. Grade: 2/5

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.