As a boy, Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) idolized the Italian Lucchese crime family gangsters in his blue-collar neighborhood in New York, and went to work for them as an errand boy at an early age. The local mob capo, Paul Cicero (Paul Sorvino) and Cicero's close associate Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) helped to cultivate Henry's criminal career, and were his closest friends within the mob. The movie GoodFellas follows Henry, Paul, Jimmy and Tommy Devito (Joe Pesci) through their careers in the mob, consisting of major thefts, controversial murders, and drug dealing, all of which eventually leads them either to death, prison or the witness protection program.
Now, being a gangster movie, this is definitely a "guys guy" movie, but I think that women can really get behind it and relate to it as well. There is one character not listed above that had an important role in this movie, and that is Henry's wife Karen (Lorraine Bracco). Karen was a young girl swept off her feet by the "bad boy" nature of Henry. I think she really truly started to love him the moment after he beat her next door neighbor with a gun and then asked her to hide it in her mother's house. Karen stuck by him through everything, including infidelity, murder, jail time and drug abuse. This made me ask the simple question... why?
It's that damn bad boy image that gets us girls. We can try to deny it, say that we want guys who treat us well, pamper us and love us unconditionally, but that isn't always the case. The fact is that there is something intriguing about a guy living on the edge, and not being sure where he will be or what he will do next. You like the thrill and excitement, and when he screws up you chalk it up to his personality and that "well, he may have stayed out all night drinking with his boys, but he came home to me eventually..."
There's also the "Well, I know he has some bad habits, but maybe I can make him change, maybe I will be the one he will realize is worth giving up his bad boy life style for." The truth is, no one is good enough to change this breed of men.... look at George Clooney!! The man is a fox and he has dated some of the sexiest women in the world... and he just bounces from one to another like its nothing at all. Completely happy being free and single....