'Crime Novel' is a much missed and less known Italian gangster story, with some nice bits of action and drama in a TV styled movie epic.
Childhood friends (with their chosen nicknames Ice, Lebanese and Dandy) grow up together and form a large crime gang, vowing to take over Rome with organised crime (through gambling, drugs and prostitution).
This gang grows, gets guns and develops a nice tidy set-up, but is being hunted by determined police. One of the main three falls for a prostitute (as also does a detective). The story builds up to feuds, distrust, scamming and ultimately a deadly finale of gangster extravaganza.
The film is 2.5 hours, slick, 60's styled, racy, rude and violent. It obviously nods to and is influenced by The Godfather trilogy, Goodfellas and should please fans of other such gang and gangster driven titles (Mesrine, 36 etc). It is foreign, world cinema but in a more tale like fashion, rather than dramatic action or entertainment.
The film is so popular in Italy they created a spin-off TV series. It is NOT a Mafia film, as the gang is on a more smaller scale, telling an unconventional tale about 3 boys growing to men through 3 decades.
I would recommend this to film fans (especially world cinema) but warn it is long, demanding, light in drama and history, but rewardingly slick and likeable.