Returning to one of my pet peeves: Forget term limits for columnists - how about term limits for no-talent directors? More specifically, how the hell does Edward Burns, whose hackishness as a screenwriter-director is exceeded only by his smug incompetence as a thespian, get to keep making movies with real actors? His films tend to either vanish at the box office or go straight to video, and what's more, they're basically all the same movie. Yet they keep coming - stocked with B-List talent, sure, but with talent all the same. What's his secret? Do all these actors really just love to work with him? Or is there some idiot agent in Hollywood who keeps telling Selma Blair - or Debra Messing or Patrick Wilson or Brittany Murphy or whomever - that what they really need, to showcase their acting chops and take their career to the next level, is a part in the next Edward Burns movie?
Ross Douthat is a contributing editor at The Atlantic.