I attended an advance screening of Ted yesterday. Ted opens in wide release on Friday, June 29.

ted movie 2012

My expectations for the movie were pretty low. I mean… Have you seen the Ted trailer? The movie is about a talking teddy bear. But the screening passes were free and my friend wanted to see it (or at least I thought he did), so I went along. Turns out he wasn’t expecting much from the movie either. But we were both pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the film!

This is the first feature film from Seth MacFarlane. If you know who he is, you probably know him for Family Guy. That’s where I know him from, but I am not a Family Guy fan. In fact, I think the episode of South Park, where the boys reveal Family Guy plot lines are just a bunch of manatees pushing around “Idea Balls” is probably closer to the truth than we all realize. So I was expecting Ted to be much of the same – funny standalone jokes, some gross-out humor and not much of an overall plot. And yes, there was some of that. But there was also a story and characters you can actually care about.

A lot of the credit for that goes to the acting talent. In lesser hands than Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, I think Ted could have been truly awful. I was excited to see Joel McHale’s name in the credits, but feel that his talents were kind of wasted here. Giovanni Ribisi does wonderful, crazy, creepy things with what could have been a throwaway role. And there are a slew of funny celebrity cameos that I won’t spoil for you here.

If you’re in my age range, you’ll also enjoy the large amount of 80s nostalgia that peppers the film. But I think you have to be in that mid-30s sweet spot to get the most out of it. I’m sure most of the references went right over some of the younger audience members’ heads.

I’m not sure I can say that Ted is worth the full-price of an evening movie ticket, which can run you around $15 these days, but it’s definitely worth an afternoon matinée (or eventual Redbox rental)!