By Christopher Redmond

Mailed on July 16, 2012

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Dear Kristen Borges
Fur Groomer

Dear Kristen,

I promise right now to not refer to you as Ted's official fluffer. That would be very demeaning to your profession. And childish of me. There's just no room for that kind of language in a serious film review. Plus, you probably were defluffing half the time. Like combing Ted's teddy hair just right for the practical shots. Cleaning away the smell of marijuana and powdery traces of cocaine. Wiping off chocolate from his mouth after simulating oral sex with a Fudgesicle. Washing out hand-lotion that was mock semen from a gang-bang. Besides, we're told multiple times that, despite his rabid libido, Ted doesn't have a cock to fluff anyway. I mean penis. Fuck! Shit! Comedy!

Alright, now that we have that out of our system, let's look at what else you were working with. First off, it must have been nice to brush up against a pop culture icon in his feature film debut. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is the writer, director, producer, (voice)-actor and all-around appeal of this R-rated comedy. Sure it has moments of shit-on-the-floor raunchiness, but pushing boundaries in film is a lot harder than on network TV, where the Griffins have been living on the edge for better part of a decade. Here the muzzle is finally taken off, and what we get is a tough-talking teddy bear that still needs to cuddle. This sets up some warm and fuzzy moments early on, when the film is probably at its best, but still struggles to find a real heartbeat in an otherwise painfully conventional romantic comedy.

Mark Walhberg, who wishes Ted to life as a child, is certainly not an obvious choice for the pot-smoking slacker he's playing. But if you can suspend your disbelief that his muscles just sort of aren't there, he does have a knack for playing a doe-eyed dumbass. And it doesn't take much imagination for any guy to believe the perfectly groomed Mila Kunis is "the one", but like most male-dominated comedies, her girlfriend character is ultimately just a wet blanket for the fun. This kind of formula is actually defluffing me.

Even Ted himself starts to fall apart by the end of the film. His once fluffy coat becomes worn and patched as he wears out his cuteness. These are nice deliberate touches, but was MacFarlane really this self-aware of the effect the bear is having on the audience? We do know he loves his post-modern references: the joke "there's no way I sound that much like Peter Griffin" is funny, but pointing out that Ryan Reynolds (in a bit part) looks like Van Wilder is just lazy. And of course, like all modern comedies, we seem to need to resurrect some forgotten 80s star. This time it's Sam J. Jones, a.k.a. Flash Gordon, whose fair blonde hair you undoubtedly were tasked with grooming as well. It's just another trope in a comedy that, on the surface, looks original, but underneath is as conventional as they come.

Although it's a bit tedious, Ted the film luckily isn't a bore. It might be stuffed with a lot of cliches, but at least you kept that outside coat nice and shinny to draw us in.

Fur-ever yours,


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