Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 17th August, 2012
Teddy-bears are all the rage these days. My own furry friend, Uncle Rufus (who is almost as old as me) was thrilled to be asked to pose for a photo for Liberal Youth’s Bears for Belarus campaign. Actually, he wasn’t my bear when I was a kid. I never had any cuddly toys when I was a child, a fact that so horrified a fellow student at the Oriental Institute at Oxford that he presented me with his own Uncle Rufus, clad in vyella pyjamas and a paisley dresing gown (though Rufus is al fresco in the pic). All a bit Brideshead, I know, but hey. Apologies, I digress. Teddy-bears are also big because of the movie ‘ted’ (co-written, produced and brilliantly directed by Seth MacFarlane), which I have just seen at the West India Quay Cineworld. Now this is a film that could have been unspeakably gauche. I mean, just think of the story-line. A lonely little boy is given a teddy-bear for Christmas and wishes upon a falling star that the bear could talk. Hey presto, in the morning the bear can. Now imagine the face on the studio moguls at Universal in LA when that idea was pitched to them. But fortunately they heard the story out, and it is so outrageous and over-the-top (strictly 15+) that I defy any man and probably any woman to sit through the film and not split their sides laughing. The animation is brilliant and some of the gags are the best I have heard since the grand old days of Mel Brooks. ‘ted’ is wildly politically incorrect and sends everyone up, from Flash Gordon to John Travolta and Susan Boyle. I shan’t give away the plot — yes there is one — let alone the dramatic ending. But go and see it, or Uncle Rufus won’t forgive you.