Goodfellas is based on a book telling the story of an Irish-Italian man who became, at a young age, a fixture in a New York-based mob. Fascinated by the parties, indifference to law and order, the women, the cars, 13-year-old Henry Hill becomes an errand boy at a mob-run cab stand. Goodfellas shows the fat and happy days, the excesses of being a gangster, but also the isolation. Henry Hill only has mob friends. His wife only interacts with other mob wives. They have money. They have possessions. They exist outside the law. They have each other, but only each other. Naturally, it will come to end.
The film reaches a brilliant climax over the course of a single day in Henry Hill's life. The viewer can feel the downfall. It's breached the horizon and lurking around the corner. Fueled by cocaine, Hill is trying to secure his latest deal, drop off some guns, take his brother to the doctor, and watch the slow-cooked sauce. Then life as he knows it ends. But as you learn watching the film, despite the guilt, the downfall, the death, if given the choice, each one of these characters would take the same path again.