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 local diner - the Whistle Stop Café in of course, Whistle Stop, Alabama. A loner, she stays to herself and takes no guff from the local do-gooders. Most importantly, she treats blacks as equals, unheard of in the 30's in Alabama, earning her a visit from the Klan.
Masterson rescues her best friend, Mary-Louise Parker, from her abusive marriage and takes her and her baby in - turning the Café into a productive and thriving business. Aided in the work is Cicely Tyson and her son. One day while Masterson and Parker are gone, the exhusband reappears trying to take the baby back, leaving Tyson and son to protect the child and if I read it correctly, the exhusband becomes dinner at the Café.
Throughout the telling of this story, over several weeks time, with a little prodding from Tandy, Bates begins a transformation in her own life. She becomes more assertive (giving a really funny scene in a parking lot, something I've always wanted to do), more svelte, and has higher self-esteem. Deciding Ninny has played an important part of her life, she asks her to leave the rest home and move into her home - which just about throws her husband over the edge.
In a sentimental trip down memory lane, Bates and Tandy visit the site of the old Café and share a heart wrenching time together. In the end, you wonder if Ninny (Tandy) was indeed the owner of the café or just a story teller.
A hearty cast with a good story. Go ahead and get out the hankie and if you wanna call it a chick flick do that too, at least we chicks aren't afraid to show feelings ha ha ... Look for a young Chris O'Donnell as Buddy, the son.
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 … more
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
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