‘Family Guy’ creator succeeds with funny, fast-paced ‘Ted’

Mark Wahlberg and Ted - voiced by Seth MacFarlane - in ‘Ted.’ Rated R, 106 min. Universal Pictures, 2012.

It sounds like a far-out concept: an R-rated movie about a grown man named John (Mark Wahlberg) and his teddy bear, who was magically brought to life when John was 8. The most far-out part is that the movie is actually hilarious, and even has an offbeat sweetness to it.

The two main characters have been best friends for life, but the crude little bear Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) refuses to curb his stoner, slacker ways, and now John’s girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) wants Ted out of the house.

There are altercations with a creep (Giovanni Ribisi) obsessed with Ted, and with Lori’s jerk boss (Joel McHale). But the highlight of the film is the interaction between Wahlberg and the computer-generated Ted, who he treats with a straight-faced sincerity. The bear is his bro.

MacFarlane – the creator of TV’s “Family Guy” – directed and co-wrote “Ted,” and, like his show, this film is stuffed with non-sequitur pop culture references (Tom Skerritt, Norah Jones and Flash Gordon himself all show up). Some jokes are cringe-worthy groaners, while others make up for them with filthy, flashy, jaw-dropping results.

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