When Rick Pitino woke up this morning, he was greeted by a team of cartoon bluebirds (or maybe cardinals would be more apt), merrily escorting him to the rainbow walkway that would lead him through town on a sunny stroll as the villagers sang his name in a well-rehearsed ditty about heroism. Life, for our dear Long Island native, is good.
Yes, while these past few days might have seen a bounty of triumphs all across our world — spanning from BAFTA nominations to WrestleMania wins — nobody woke up Tuesday morning with a bigger smile than Ricky Pits. And while the rest of us would love to resent that lucky bastard for all the good fortune he's undertaken, we can't bear to hate him. Just... just look how happy he is.
Here's ol' 'Tino, coach of the Louisville Cardinals, celebrating his team's NCAA victory Monday night with an ad hoc Cabbage Patch dance.Happiness Level: Walking on sunshine.
And here's Richie P, sharing his glee with CBS' Jim Nantz, ruminating on his recently announced induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, giddily exhibiting his self-taught martial arts skills.Happiness Level: Living on Easy Street.
Sing it, R-Teens. Sing out your wayfaring jubilation so that even the nose-bleediest of the Georgia Dome seats can bask in your boundless cheer. Pitino vocalizes pure joy over his horse Goldencents making his way to the 2013 Kentucky Derby following a Saturday afternoon racing victory.Happiness Level: The sort of pride usually reserved for the mom of a homecoming soldier.
And speaking of pride, take a gander at R.T. basking in the glory of his son Rick Jr.'s magnificent news of earning the head coaching honor over the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Wednesday, adopting the meditative stance imparted upon him during his lifelong training in varied fields of mystical self-discipline.Happiness Level: Remember when you were a kid and you got two plastic submarines in your breakfast cereal box? Kind of like that.
And because we're hardly dealing with a simple man, we must cast our admiring gaze on Rick Pitino, soaring high not on his newly achieved victories or inductions, but in the banquet of love, of friendship, of human decency that is this time in which we are lucky enough to live. Hug it out, RiPit. Embrace your players, your comrades, your spiritual journey toward the ultimate plateau of spiritual enlightenment. You've had a good week, and you deserve all the smiles you can muster.Happiness Level: Nirvana.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
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Last year director Garry Marshall hit upon a devilishly canny approach to the romantic comedy. A more polished refinement of Hal Needham’s experimental Cannonball Run method it called for assembling a gaggle of famous faces from across the demographic spectrum and pairing them with a shallow day-in-the-life narrative packed with gobs of gooey sentiment. A cynical strategy to be sure but one that paid handsome dividends: Valentine’s Day earned over $56 million in its opening weekend surpassing even the rosiest of forecasts. Buoyed by the success Marshall and his screenwriter Katherine Fugate hastily retreated to the bowels of Hades to apply their lucrative formula to another holiday historically steeped in romantic significance and New Year’s Eve was born.
Set in Manhattan on the last day of the year New Year’s Eve crams together a dozen or so canned scenarios into one bloated barely coherent mass of cliches. As before Marshall’s recruited an impressive ensemble of minions to do his unholy bidding including Oscar winners Hilary Swank Halle Berry and Robert De Niro the latter luxuriating in a role that didn’t require him to get out of bed. High School Musical’s Zac Efron is paired up with ‘80s icon Michelle Pfeiffer – giving teenage girls and their fathers something to bond over – while Glee’s Lea Michele meets cute with a pajama-clad Ashton Kutcher. There’s Katherine Heigl in a familiar jilted-fiance role Sarah Jessica Parker as a fretful single mom and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as the most laid-back cop in New York. Sofia Vergara and Hector Elizondo mine for cheap laughs with thick accents – his fake and hers real – and Jessica Biel and Josh Duhamel deftly mix beauty with blandness. Fans of awful music will delight in the sounds of Jon Bon Jovi straining against type to play a relevant pop musician.
The task of interweaving the various storylines is too great for Marshall and New Year’s Eve bears the distinct scent and stain of an editing-room bloodbath with plot holes so gaping that not even the brightest of celebrity smiles can obscure them. But that’s not the point – it never was. You should know better than to expect logic from a film that portrays 24-year-old Efron and 46-year-old Parker as brother-and-sister without bothering to explain how such an apparent scientific miracle might have come to pass. Marshall wagers that by the time the ball drops and the film’s last melodramatic sequence has ended prior transgressions will be absolved and moviegoers will be content to bask in New Year's Eve's artificial glow. The gambit worked for Valentine's Day; this time he may not be so fortunate.