There are few better ways for an actor to show off his chops than by playing the clever trickster in a thriller (think of Daniel Craig's 007 at the poker table, or Matt Damon's Bourne leading his CIA overseers through the looking glass).
For a comedy like "The Change-Up" -- which is to say, a comedy with a message about as deep as a bowl of beer nuts -- familiarity with Shakespeare's disguise plays and Aesop's Fables isn't a prerequisite for getting the picture.
If the early reviews are anything to go by, critics are giving Ryan Reynolds' outing as Green Lantern a pasting. The story is rushed and derivative, but there is a fair amount to enjoy in a goofy, unpretentious CGI spectacle aimed at the younger teen crowd.
â¢ Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson stepped out for drinks with a friend at West Hollywood's Chateau Marmont. While Reynolds ordered a cocktail, his wife opted for a glass of red wine. Soon, Johansson ventured across the patio and joined a table of female friends, while her husband caught up with the male guest. But she returned to his table shortly after, and the couple continued their low-key night before moving inside for more drinks.
• Scarlett Johansson and husband Ryan
Reynolds, skipping over to West Hollywood's Chateau Marmont to join
Drew Barrymore for drinks on the patio. Barrymore had been eating dinner with a male friend when her He's Not That
Into You costar arrived. According to an onlooker, the foursome
were deep in conversation all night – with Barrymore leading most of it – while Johansson and Reynolds held hands under the table. Nearby, Samantha Ronson hung out with brother Mark Ronson, who ate on the patio.
In the saga of his love life that he weaves as a bedtime story for his preteen daughter, Maya (Abigail Breslin), in "Definitely, Maybe," Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds) sounds like a man from Hope as he recounts the good old days of Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign.
• Scarlett Johansson, hosting a New Year's Eve
house party in Los Angeles with beau Ryan Reynolds. Sporting a
little black dress and a feather in her hair, the actress chatted with her
friends while holding a glass of champagne. Reynolds, in a cashmere v-neck
sweater, gave Johansson space and stuck close to his buddies. But later the
couple reunited, embracing outside on a wooden balcony while making the rounds
together to meet and greet their guests.
January used to be Hollywood's official doldrums month. It still is, only now it's a snazzier, more depraved wasteland. It's when audiences flock to ultraviolent hip trash to slap themselves out of the art stupor brought on by the season of Important Awards Films.