Magazine July 30, 2012, Issue

Shock Plus Nothing

The star of Ted (Universal)

On the weekend before the Fourth of July, Americans lined up for two raunchy, R-rated exercises in transgression. In heartland cities like Indianapolis, Nashville, and Kansas City, notionally havens of decency and family values, the movie of choice (mostly for women) was Magic Mike, a beefcake parade starring Channing Tatum as a male stripper on the make. Meanwhile, in liberal metropolises like Boston and New York, notionally havens of tolerance, multiculturalism, and political correctness, audiences (mostly male) preferred Seth MacFarlane’s Ted, a bawdy modern fairy tale whose comedy depends on generous doses of misogyny, ethnic stereotyping, and gay panic.

This filmgoing

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