Directed By: Seth MacFarlane,

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Giovanni Ribisi, Jessica Stroup, and Patrick Warburton

This summer has not been a good one for comedies.  After last year's surprise hit Bridesmaids, I've been waiting for something great this year.  Last week's Seeking a Friend for the End of the World was decent.  In May, The Dictator was just okay.  Tim Burton's Dark Shadows brought the freaks to help kick off the summer, but not the laughs.  All of this was expected though.  If I had to bet on a winner, there are only two comedies I would have really put my money on at the beginning of the summer, Ted and The Campaign.  After having seen Ted though, I can see that it would have been a bad bet.  Here's to hoping The Campaign will be great.  Will Ferrell punching the iron-like jaw of a baby should get the job done.

In 1985, John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) is an 8-year-old with a terrible social life.  He literally has no friends.  When his parents (Ralph Garman and Alex Borstein) buy him a teddy bear for Christmas, John treats it like his new best friend and names him Ted.  When he wishes that Ted is real, the bear actually comes to life.  Ted walks, talks, and becomes the friend John needs.  He also becomes a celebrity in the process appearing on talk shows and partying like a rock star. John and Ted build a strong, lasting friendship with one another.

Twenty seven years later, John and Ted are still best friends.  There's just one problem.  John is in a long term relationship with his girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis).  He has trouble being there for her and becoming the man she needs.  He's too busy drinking and smoking weed with his thunder buddy Ted.  As he continues to do childish things with Ted, John drives a wedge between himself and Lori.  Eventually, she gives him an ultimatum to put Ted out of their apartment or to leave her.  Naturally, John chooses to be with the woman he loves and puts Ted's furry ass out on the streets.  Meanwhile, Ted has a lifelong fan named Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) who is determined to get his son a real life teddy bear.

In his first time up at bat to direct a motion picture, Seth MacFarlane does not hit it out of the park.  However, I still have to give him some credit. MacFarlane manages to infuse Ted with his signature brand of comedy that you would typically see on a show like Family Guy. This really keeps the laughs flowing in an otherwise stale comedy.   With countless pop culture references and wisecracks from that foul-mouthed bear, no celebrity is safe.  Some of his victims include Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Adam Sandler, Brandon Routh, and Taylor Lautner. With all this, Seth MacFarlane does bring some big laughs throughout the film.

Ted has a few flaws.  First, the comedy is choppy and uneven.  Seth MacFarlane is hilarious, but Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis definitely are not.  Every time MacFarlane goes off screen, so do the laughs.  That's never good for a comedy.  Second, the film can't find the right tone.  MacFarlane wants it to be a cute little film about a live teddy bear, but he also wants it to be raunchy and cutting edge.  MacFarlane needs to pick a tone and stick with it.  We all just want a wild, raunchy flick anyway.  He could have just scrapped the cute crap once John and Ted are grown.  Finally, you could also make the case that Ted's fixation on Flash Gordon's Sam Jones and Top Gun's Tom Skeritt doesn't help.  Skeritt is fine, but nobody gives a damn about Flash Gordon anymore.

Ted is an enjoyable comedy, but it could have been much better.  With such a creative premise, it could have been the best comedy of the year.  Instead, it's a predictable, choppy comedy that doesn't quite live up to the expectations.  Ted gets a 0.06% rating.  Grab a couple of glasses of Sauvignon Blanc with this one.  Look for some fun cameos throughout the film as well.