Yesterday, a post titled “Women are not capable of understanding GoodFellas” was published by The New York Post. In it, Kyle Smith makes the troll-y argument that the 1990 Martin Scorsese picture is about dudes and for dudes. He calls it a “male fantasy picture” that women are incapable of fully understanding. Guys only. No girls allowed. Can’t sit here, lady.
The wiseguys never have to work (the three friends never exert themselves except occasionally to do something fun, like steal a tractor-trailer truck), which frees them up to spend the days and nights doing what guys love above all else: sitting around with the gang, busting each other’s balls...To a woman, the “GoodFellas” are lowlifes. To guys, they’re hilarious, they’re heroes. They rule the roost.
He continued with this nonsensical hypothetical:
What would “GoodFellas” be like if it were told by a woman?
Meet an at-risk youth called Henry Hill. Victimized by horrific physical abuse from an early age, and traumatized by the responsibilities of caring for a handicapped brother, he fell prey to criminal elements in his rough East New York neighborhood in a time when social-services agencies were sadly lacking. At an impressionable age, he became desensitized to violence when a gunshot victim bled to death in front of a restaurant where he was working. His turn to the mafia was a cry for help — a need to find a family structure to replace the one he had never really known.
And who would want to watch that movie?
Fortunately, the conversation didn’t end there. In an interview with Metro, Nicholas Pileggi, the author of the book GoodFellas was based on as well as the film’s co-screenwriter, responded to Smith’s piece:
“I was very flattered,” Pileggi told us, though he adds, “I don’t know what the validity of it is. A lot of women like the movie. The women I know, from my wife on down, got a kick out of it.”
His wife? The late Nora Ephron.
Apologies to Mr. Smith, but I don’t think Nora Ephron was ever wrong about anything.
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