There are films that linger in memory for the warmth they exude and the impression they leave. So it is with the now 15 year old film FRIED GREEN TOMATOES based on the novel 'Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe' by Fannie Flagg and arranged for the screen by that author. This is a film that explores racism, feminism, respect for the elderly, women's rights, and so very much more in a manner that is infectious to watch repeatedly and defies forgetting.
Told on two levels, the film is narrated by the elderly Ninny Threadgoode (a luminous Jessica Tandy) who idles away her hours in her nursing home with stories about her childhood she shares with the sad, obese, emotionally fragile Evelyn (Kathy Bates) whose life of misery is slowly corrected by Ninny's tales of how two women in the past overcame impossible odds. The story she tells dates back to Alabama in the 1930s when a young upstart Idgie Threadgoode (Mary Stuart Masterson) is calmed by a frightened but solid Ruth Jamison (Mary-Louise Parker) and how their partnering results in a series of events that involve murder, racism, and some very strange events.
The cast is superb, the script is delicious (!), and Jon Avnet directs with aplomb not only the fresh talent mentioned above, but also such fine actors as Cicely Tyson, Chris O'Donnell, Stan Shaw, Lois Smith and a large cast of supporting actors. The re-creation of the Old South is palpably well focused as is the hilarious and touching stance from the contemporary standpoint of the nursing home and house of the chameleon Evelyn. It is a choice bit of filmmaking and one that deserves a place in every film lover's library. Grady Harp, November 06
Have you ever watched a movie so many times, that it becomes embedded into you? You know every line and all the characters, as if it had all really happened to your life? Fried Green Tomatoes is one of those movies for me. Also, I think you will be surprised at the "real" connections my family has to the film. Fannie Flag wrote a book about a peculiar little town called whistlestop. The newspaper has a fit about a comet falling from the sky, and all of the locals are in a … more
Pros: Great cast Cons: ...... While on a visit to the rest home with her husband to visit his aunt, Evelyn (Kathy Bates) meets up with Ninny (Jessica Tandy), well known for her stories. Since the aunt hates Evelyn, she is also stuck in the waiting room and therefore gets to spend a lot of time with Ninny and her remarkable memories of times past. Flashing back we find Mary Stuart Masterson as the owner and operator of the … more
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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Kathy Bates stars as an unhappy wife trying to get her husband's attention in this amusing and moving 1991 screen adaptation of Fannie Flagg's novelFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. After befriending a lonely old woman (Jessica Tandy), Bates hears the story of a lifelong friendship between two other women (Mary Stuary Masterson and Mary-Louise Parker, seen in flashback) who once ran a cafe in town against many personal odds. The tale inspires Bates to take further command over her life, and there director Jon Avnet (Up Close and Personal), in his first feature, has fun with the film. Bates develops a real attitude toward her thickheaded spouse at home and some uppity girls in a parking lot, but dignity is generally the key to Avnet's approach with the story's crucial relationships. Tandy is a joy and clearly loves the element of mystery attached to her character, and Masterson and Parker are excellent in the historical sequences.--Tom Keogh