The River favors style and characterization over any major storyline. But its multifaceted slice-of-life chronicle is a beautiful one, a distinct and universal one, and one that is all so gloriously realized.
The first time Karen and Henry meet in Goodfellas, Martin Scorsese’s pivotal 1990 decades-spanning Italian gangster film, it is on a forced double date that precedes a back room meeting, with the sole purpose being so Tommy can “bang this Jewish broad”. Henry is beyond rude and Karen is timid, although timidly pissed as she has every right to be. Notably, she is dressed to the nines (complete with styled hair and a set of pearls) as she will stay for the duration of the film no matter the situation. When Henry stands her up on the second date she immediately requests, nay demands, to be taken to find him in order to ream him out in front of his cohorts.