07/06/2022
Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Paul Sorvino in

When we got married, I got so caught up in this passion/”problem” that one day he stood in front of me and said, “You know that’s not normal at all, right?”

So now I try to sneak in when he’s not home, or sometimes when he’s upstairs practicing his keyboard. I just can’t help it. He often catches me, but I don’t care. I’m just getting ready for a snappy comment, or at least a big eye roll.

Before your mind starts moving in all different directions and I have to hit you, I’m going to share my obsession with you. But we have to keep that between us, okay? Omerta, so to speak.

It’s bad, all of you. In the end, I would come home from work every day and wear it. I’m down two or three times a week now. I can see you rolling your eyes – as your significant others do – and I totally agree with that.

The 1990 gangster movie starring Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, and Joe Pesci was brilliantly executed—pardon the pun—I Can’t Look Away.

Based on the real-life story of mafia star-turned-government witness Henry Hill, it’s the story of how Hill went from being a boy who fell in love with organized crime to a complete loss. Pesci alone was worth the price of admission because his portrayal of gangster Tommy DeSimone is master class in playing a ruthless killer.

The movie sent me down a rabbit hole where I had to read all I could about the real people behind the characters, including the Nicholas Bilge book on which the movie is based.

I didn’t get to see Goodfellas a few times when it was in theaters because I was younger at the time and definitely broke. But once it was played on DVD and later streamed, it became my jam. I even saved the sterilized version of the TV on a DVR because – to be honest – I’m not so much a fan of profanity and violence as I love the story.

Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro in Goodfellas.

This might sound strange to someone who claims to love a movie that seems to glorify mob life, but it really isn’t. Directed by Scorsese, a master of cinema, “Goodfellas” is actually a consistent look at how the mafia isn’t a witch at all.

However, we can’t help but love movies like this one.

Long before The Godfather, there was the silent 1927 movie Underworld, which paved the way for films about the rise and fall of a gangster.

While most of us, I hope, don’t want to break the law or break our legs, we know that in many ways, these stories are as American as apple pie. At its core, it is about family relationships, traditions, ambition and the pursuit of a better life than the one you have.

It’s about being brave in almost everything you put your mind to. And deep down, whether we want to admit it or not, there is little admiration for people who have the will to do whatever it takes.

At the same time, we feel repulsed by those who hurt others and commit acts of violence. On that front, mob movies still satisfy us because (spoiler alert) the really bad guys almost always get compensation in the form of death or imprisonment.

There is no such thing as eternal happiness when your career is built on destroying the lives of others.

With all of this, how can you not love these movies? I cannot.

So much so that “Goodfellas” has become such a staple of how awesome you are that I get to quiz when I meet new people. If I say “funny how?” And you don’t get “weird, like, like I’m a clown, like your amusement?” I know we can’t get any further in our case.