Fried Green Tomatoes – 1991 – English
Film directed in 1991 by Jon Avnet, and starring Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker, Chris O’Donnell, Cicely Tyson, Gailard Sartain, Gary Basaraba, Stan Shaw…
Synopsis: Evelyn Couch is having trouble in her marriage, and no one seems to take her seriously. While in a nursing home visiting relatives, she meets Ninny Threadgoode, an outgoing old woman, who tells her the story of Idgie Threadgoode, a young woman in 1920’s Alabama. Through Idgie’s inspiring life, Evelyn learns to be more assertive and builds a lasting friendship of her own with Ninny.
Review: This is one of my top five films of all time. I was somewhat skeptical the first time I saw it because I adored the book and I knew there were some changes, but I found the essence of Fannie Flagg’s fabulous novel in tact. This is a story that burrows into your heart and mind and stays there. It is absolutely magical storytelling with a stellar cast and beautifully written characters that never fade from memory.
A time and place in America, filled with the best and the worst of our life and history, is impeccably captured. The flashbacks take us to the time of an Alabama whistle stop town that was a bustling hub when the railroad was the center of all movement. This was the era of hobos and simple pleasures. The scenes from the past become more powerful by the juxtaposition to modern times, where the story begins and returns at intervals.
Kathy Bates plays Evelyn Couch, an unhappy middle-aged housewife who stumbles on Ninny Threadgoode (the superb Jessica Tandy) one day by accident at the nursing home where she is visiting one of her husband’s relatives. The two have an instant chemistry and a deep friendship begins. Ninny proceeds to tell Evelyn the story of Idgie and Ruth, two young women who shared an amazing friendship and love 50 years earlier.
This movie has to be experienced, as mere descriptions might sound like another southern-flavored movie about women or a weepy nostalgic tale. It is much more than that, and more than the most glowing review can ever convey. If you are reading this and haven’t seen it, please make a point to. The actors are nothing short of magical. All four actresses (Jessica Tandy, Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary-Louise Parker) are at the top of their craft.
I will borrow a line from Ninny Threadgoode to describe how I always feel after seeing this film. “I may be sitting here in this nursing home but in my mind I’m over at the Whistle Stop Cafe having a plate of Fried Green Tomatoes”.
I may be sitting here finishing this comment but in my mind I’m at the Whistle Stop Cafe. That’s how powerful this story is for me.