Tim Stack
November 23, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

As creepy teen Ricky Fitts in 1999’s Oscar-winning American Beauty, Wes Bentley famously filmed a drifting plastic bag’s exquisiteness. If only the gifted actor had the same knack for finding worthy films. (Sorry, Wes, ain’t nuthin’ exquisite about Ghost Rider!) Since then, Bentley has squandered all his Beauty buzz in dreck like this month’s P2, which has earned just $3.6 million. (Not helping Bentley’s cause: an upcoming documentary called My Big Break that includes footage from his It Boy era.) What happened? Did Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal steal all the quality awkward-white-guy roles? It’s time Bentley revisited the type of edgy work he did in Beauty, and that means no more thrillers named after parking-garage levels. Why not start with a TV show, like HBO’s Big Love? We’d totally cast him as one of those menacing polygamists!

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