Goodfellas: New York Post critic 'sparks outcry' by suggesting women are not capable of understanding classic 1990 movie

Review comes as film marks 25th anniversary

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

It’s a tough assignment. Even for a tough guy.

It has been 25 years since Martin Scorsese’s movie GoodFellas hit the cinemas and by way of marking the occasion, New York’s Film Forum is hosting an anniversary screening. A Blu-ray DVD is about to go on sale.

Frankly, that doesn’t sound like a very interesting assignment. But you’re a film critic, Kyle Smith, a film critic for the New York Post, goddammit. You’d better make it sound interesting.

Hey, I know. What about if you were to say women didn’t like the film? Better still, what if you were to say women couldn’t like the film. You know, you could suggest its simply not in their DNA to understand all that male bonding macho stuff.

Then you could throw in a few paragraphs about how Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci sit around “ball-busting” and explain that guys like nothing more than sitting around “ball-busting” and insulting each other. Even better if drinks and cigars and card games and other macho stuff is to hand.

Then you could contrast all this male, locker-room bonding with a chick movie, say like Sex in the City, and you could hint that ball-busting guys just don’t get that flick, in exactly the same way that women don’t get Goodfellas.

You could say that in Sex in the City, women act differently and that they have a rule to “always be sympathetic and supportive as each describes her problems, usually revolving around the men in her life".

And what would make it really neat would be to drop in some anecdote about how you watched Goodfellas with an ex-girlfriend and how she'd told you told you it was “guy movie” and how you known right there, right then that things were doomed.

(Even better if you could then point out in a kind of self-deprecating way that she’d actually dumped you because you were a "jerk".)

It’s still tough.

It hard to think that even with all of that, even with all those faux slights against women, that your column is going to cause much genuine interest or outcry, even if you were to complete it with an obviously attention-seeking headline such as “Women are not capable of understanding GoodFellas”.

Isn't it going to be, you know, just a little bit obvious what you're trying to do? Do you really think anyone is going to fall for your game?

Then again, you know what the internet is like.