* Prices may differ from that shown
RELEASED: 1991, Cert. 12
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 132 mins
DIRECTOR: Jon Avnet
PRODUCERS: Jon Avnet & Jordan Kerner
SCREENPLAY: Fannie Flagg & Carol Sobieski
MUSIC: Thomas Newman
Kathy Bates as Evelyn Couch
Jessica Tandy as Ninny Threadgoode
Mary-Louise Parker as Ruth Jamison
Mary Stuart Masterson as Idgie Threadgoode
Gailard Sartain as Ed Couch
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Based on Fannie Flagg's novel of the same name (she also co-wrote the film screenplay), Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Café ["FGT"] begins with bored housewife Evelyn Couch befriending Ninny Threadgoode, a resident in a home for the elderly.
Evelyn is a not too happy lady who is overweight, and consoles herself with comfort eating. Her husband Ed is also overweight, but he appears to be happy with his lot and their marriage. Although Evelyn does love Ed, she feels the spark has gone from their relationship, and it is her liaison with Ninny which stimulates her into a programme of change and self-awareness.
Evelyn joins a gym and attends a female awareness support group, whilst making in vain attempts at geeing her husband up, yet the highlight of her life is when she pays her visits to Ninny, who relates stories from her own past about a small Alabama town and its inhabitants.
Ninny tells of Idgie, who back in the late 1920s was a young tomboy, turning into a rebel after the death of her beloved brother who was hit by a train. Ninny's stories go on to describe the deep friendship which develops between Idgie and Ruth, who is summoned by the family to keep an eye on Idgie in an effort to steer the wayward young girl onto the straight and narrow.
These reminiscences tell a story, right from Idgie's childhood through until she is a grown woman, together with various happenings in the community around her and are told in flashback format....with Evelyn gaining inspiration and confidence as Ninny relates each chapter from her memory.
This isn't an easy storyline to précis, but the above is the best I can manage in order to set the scene. To find out more, you must watch the film for yourself.
FGT is one of those films which I dived into blind, not having preconceived ideas as to its content, so it was with interest that I clicked the 'play' button.
Almost immediately, I could pick up an atmosphere of FGT perhaps evolving into the type of film which is a bit out of my sphere of preference, and I wasn't wrong....but, that didn't stop me enjoying it for the most part.
The acting by the whole cast, is very good and I am unable to pick a particular favourite, but as far as the characters are concerned, I couldn't help warming to both Ninny and Big George (Big George being an adorable black man who Idgie's family employed as a general helper).
The flashbacks within FGT are set in 1920s/1930s Alabama when black people in the Deep South were treated no better than a dog turd adorning somebody's shoe, and although such is put across fairly well in the film, I do suspect that the whole issue of rampant racism was papered over and prettied up somewhat, as I believe things were much worse than how they are portrayed here. There are a couple of scenes involving Ku Klux Klan activities in FGT, and I feel that although they had an edge present of being disturbing, the real thing in real life and as it actually happened, would have been several hundred times worse. However, I did find the overall community spirit in the small Alabama community quite warming, even though how anybody may or may not have fitted in largely would have depended on the colour of their skin. The black servants inside of Idgie's home were treated exceptionally well, and viewed almost as members of the family.
The music to FGT is a bit of a mixed bag....some of it is a little blues-inflluenced, but it is a mostly orchestrated, borderline slushy offering. The one piece of raw blues I really loved, even though it was only a short snatch, was a part where Big George sings pure Deep South acapella blues whilst he is working.
I did find certain parts of Ninny's reminiscent stories, told in flashback, a little confusing here and there as I wasn't always able to pinpoint who was related to who in the Alabama backwoods community, and I found it hard to ascertain why some characters behaved as they did. However, I did just about manage to hold onto the crux of the flashback storyline....well, enough to keep my attention held.
I did quite enjoy FGT, but found little bits of the film mildly irritating. I'm not a fan of stories where women go on a crusade to 'find themselves', as to me they often come across as belittling and patronising. FGT was no exception in this area, although it wasn't quite as guilty as some other films in a similar vein have been (one example which instantly springs to mind is Educating Rita).
Another slight gripe for me is that I did find a few parts of FGT to be rather more mawkish and slushy than I am comfortable with, although some of the grittier parts - which weren't quite as gritty as real life would be but I suppose acceptable bearing in mind the film has a 12 certificate - did go some way towards creating a sense of balance between real life and mush.
There are two outcomes in FGT, both of which I believe are supposed to come across as surprises at the end, but I must say I did anticipate them early on, and correctly. One of these outcomes I worked out within the first 15 or so minutes of the film, and the other at about the halfway point. I also was under the impression that one of these outcomes is intended to be amusing, but I didn't find it so as my sense of humour runs along different rails entirely, plus I've seen something else which has the same thread....it therefore came as no surprise to me.
I'm not sorry I watched FGT, despite finding it a little predictable and a bit too slushy in parts, but it truly was a pleasant experience to watch a film that isn't so dark (dark in the sense of lack of light, I mean!) it precludes comprehension. I would imagine FGT to be a movie that the whole family can sit around and enjoy, although parts of the storyline may be a bit too complex for under-12s to enjoy....no doubt that's why it has a 12 certificate!
Overall, FGT is a well-acted, well put together film which has some very enjoyable stretches, and although I myself am not one of these people, it will definitely appeal to anyone who likes a generous dose of sentiment. I really don't think I'll clamour for second helpings, as to me it's a case of once seen is enough, but I can understand why other people rate it very highly....it's simply not quite my cup of tea, despite overall being good.
At the time of writing, FGT can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-
New: from £7.95 to £14.99
Used: from £3.05 to £14.99
Collectible: Only one copy currently available @ £10.00
A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
Based on the original novel Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistlestop Cafe by Fannie Flagg, first published in 1987 and made into a film directed by John Avnet in 1991 starring Cathy Bates and Jessica Tandy.
Evelyn Crouch - Cathy Bates
Ninny Threadgoode - Jessica Tandy
Idgie Threadgoode - Mary Stuart Masterson
Ruth Jamison - Mary louise Parker
The Film In Brief:
The story is told to us through parallel viewing. Co narratives entwine present day recollections of a time that has passed and flashbacks to the life of a once vibrant town. Set in the fictional town of Whistlestop in the deep south USA. Two women (Bates and Tandy) meet and bond a friendship that will lead one through a passage of discovery about herself whilst the other relays stories from a time when Whistlestop was once a thriving community. A heart warming story of friendship and relationship.
Evelyn Crouch (Cathy Bates), an over weight, bored housewife that lacks confidence travels to a nursing home to visit her husbands aunt. On the way the pair take a wrong turn and briefly end up in the run down and now abandoned town of Whistlestop before finally reaching their destination. At the nursing home Evelyn strikes up a conversation with Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy), a ditsy but endearing elderly woman who resides at the nursing home. Ninny begins to relay storys to Evelyn of her past in Whistlestop and tales of colourful characters that are centered around the Cafe (which caught Evelyns eye when they passed through the town).
She tells Evelyn about a young tomboy called Idgie Threadgoode (Mary Stuart Masterson) who was brought up in a middle class home. Younger sister of Buddy (the only member of the family that Idgie truely listens to) who is in the throws of the beginning of a relationship with Ruth Jamison (Mary Louise Parker).
Idgie first meets Ruth on the day of a family wedding and a day that tragedy strikes the Threadgoode house when Buddy is tragically killed by a steam train, a day that Idgie never gets over and which drives her further away from her family. Ruth is summonsed by Idgie's mother years later who asks her to spend time with her wayward daughter in the hope that she will be a calming influence. The girls spend the entire summer together and begin the bond of an incredible friendship that borders sexual. Ruth marries at the end of the summer to a man, Frank Bennett (as it transpires later in the film) who beats her, even in a delicate state of pregnancy. Later returning back to Whistlestop to escape her abusive husband Ruth gives birth to her first (and only) son and Ruth and Idgie partner a business together running the Whistlestop Cafe through the era of the great depression.
The story takes us through different eras of Whistlestop and entwines friends and neighbours from the Whistlestop community including Big George, a black man accused of the murder of Ruth's husband by klansman and a close and loyal friend to Idgie. Big George's mother Sipsey who helped raise Idgie and Smokey Lonesome a drunken vagrant who frequents the cafe and becomes friends with the two women.
Evelyn becomes so enthralled in Ninny's tales from Whistlestop that she becomes empowered by the story of Idgie and Ruth and how bold and audacious the two women are. She begins to discover her own self worth and takes a stand to improve her quality of life by transforming herself into a confident woman with a purpose. Introducing Towanda, Evelyn's brave and confident alta ego!
Whilst the film makes suggestions that Ruth and Idgie have a relationship that is more than just friends and hints on lesbianism in a few scenes the book leaves no question that they were more than platonic living in a town where there relationship is accepted in an era when it wasnt. Where as the book goes into more depth of the womens relationship the film tends to gloss over many areas that provide much richer details into ruth and Idgies lives. Many aspects of the original book have been changed for the film aduptation and although the film is very good the book is more than worth a read.
My Verdict of The Film:
For me both Cathy Bates and Jessica Tandy are very fine, well respected actresses who have provided some memorable and triumphant roles but it is that of Mary Stuart Masterson who steals the spotlight with her perfect portrayal of the defiant and independant Idgie Threadgoode. She perfectly balances the wild and vivacious aspects of her character with her more touching and emotional sides which hold the film together between the enjoyable but slightly weak scenes with Bates and Tandy. Bate's character is slightly animated at the beginning fo the film with the stereotypical floral prints, dowdy jumpers, pouffed hair and continual chocolate munching to hone in the point to the audience that here is a woman who is in a loveless relationship with absolutely no self esteem. They did not need to do this to the character. Bates is such a formidable actress that I feel she could have portrayed all the elements required with the minimum animation. In fact it is not until half way through the film that she actually manages to sink her teeth into the character and even then it is not in the same intense way I would expect from her.
The film is a little "twee" but none the less highly enjoyable. It is one of my favourite films. A perfect pack of biscuits and a cuppa on a rainy day kind of movie. A femanistic, heart warming story that is sensitively told. The atmosphere of Whistlestop past and present is reasonably near to how I imagined it from reading the book. I love the film but i love the book so much more. For anyone that has seen the film you must read the book it offers so much more for the characters and a much richer story.
I would not normally comment on an ending because, for obvious reasons I would not want to spoil it but I feel that this film deserves and explanation. There is much debate as to whom exactly the elderly women is in the film. We are told she is Idgie Threadgoode but visual suggestions and clever directing hint that she is infact Idgie Threadgoode. This is not the case. Quite early on she reveals that she was a childhood friend of Ruth and Idgie and in the original book there is no hint that her character is anyone other than Ninny Threadgoode. That aside though it is a nice touch that was added to the film but careful viewing and attention to the script will render this theory useless!
The film recieved two Academy award nominations: Jessica Tandy (best actress in a supporting role) and best score. Two BAFTA nominations: Jessica Tandy (Best Actress) and Cathy Bates (best actress in a supporting role). Three Golden Globe nominations: Best actress, best supporting actress and best film.
Evelyn in a shopping mall car park, Two younger girls steal her parking bay.
Evelyn: Excuse me. I was waiting for that space.
Girl 1: Yeah, tough!
Girl 2: Face it, lady, we're younger and faster.
Evelyn: ... Towanda. (screams and smashes into the car) Towanda!! Yes ma'am!. Face it, girls. I'm older and I have more insurance!
It is hard to find anything to criticise about this wonderful tale of self discovery that is a joy to watch, it features some fine female performances and an absorbing simple plot line with some touching moments and some very funny one as well.
Kathy Bates plays Evelyn Couch and over weight woman who is very unhappy in her marriage, she is a bit of a doormat and tries hardto please everyone and avoids confrontation at all costs. While at a nursing home she meets Ninny Threadgoode played by Jessica Tandy, she begins to tell her a story about a girl called Idgie Threadgoode and her best friend Ruth Jamison who set up a cafe together which gives the film its title and Evelyn is soon totally absorbed in the story and keeps returning for more as the story is conveyed through flashbacks for the viewer, the whole film is as much about the journey of discovery for Evelyn and how she changes as it is about the life of Idgie.
Mary Stuart Masterton plays Idgie and she is excellent in the role however the real star of this film is Bates, she plays a character that initially you find yourself both pitying and being annoyed at as she appears so week but as she begins to change it is a superb transformation, the car parking scene is a classic which always makes me smile and cheer, I can remember seeing it in the cinema and some people actually applauded when this scene was shown.
There is a lovely feel good factor to this film and it is a perfectly crafted plot which some excellent performances in it. The film is beautifully shot with the movement between the two time periods and with Bates proving once again that she is a superb character actress with a huge range this is a film I would highly recommend.
Evelyn Couch, an unhappy married woman, meets Ninny Threadgoode in a nursing home, where Evelyn is visiting her husband's mother, and Ninny is an incumbent. Ninny starts to tell her the story of Idgie Threadgoode and her close friend, Ruth Jamison and before long, Evelyn is hooked, itching to hear the next installment in the story. Idgie and Ruth set up the Whistlestop Cafe after Ruth escaped from her violent husband, and they brought up Ruth's son together. However, their lives were never without excitement and trauma. Fast forward to modern day, and Evelyn is struggling with her marriage and worrying about her increasing age. Can Ninny help her come to terms with her life?
Kathy Bates has always been one of my favourite actresses - she seems able to take on any role and turn it into her own. As Evelyn, she gives a fantastic performance, by somehow making herself into an every-woman with whom any woman can identify. One of the best-known moments from the film involves her deliberately driving into the car of a young woman who stole her parking space ('Face it girls, I'm older and I have more insurance!') and this is the moment that had every woman throughout the English-speaking world cheering along with her. Kathy Bates transforms Evelyn from a timid woman with no self-confidence into a woman who knows her own mind and isn't afraid to use it. It's a great performance, yet isn't overly sentimental.
Mary Stuart Masterton is also fantastic as Idgie Threadgoode. Idgie is a tearaway, a real tomboy whose life falls apart when her beloved older brother is hit by a train and dies right in front of her eyes. She hides herself away and refuses to socialise with anyone until Ruth comes along and brings her out of herself. Their love for each other is beautifully portrayed - there is a hint that Idgie's love for Ruth is more than just friendship, but it is never spoken. Idgie is a lovely character - sometimes infuriatingly bossy and overbearing - but she is always fair and she values those that she loves. Mary Stuart Masterton really brings the character to life in a memorable way. Mary-Louise Parker is also good as the beautiful Ruth, although her role is much less stand-out.
Ninny is played by Jessica Tandy and although she doesn't have an enormous role, she still makes her mark on the film. Her character is ambiguous in that it is never clear exactly who she is - she appears to be telling the story of Idgie and Ruth, but there is a suggestion she could be Idgie herself. That aside, she initially comes across as being a rather dipsy old lady, but it is soon clear that there is much more to her than meets the eye. Her determination to ensure that Evelyn 'finds' herself, despite her own fragility, is truly touching to watch. She was nominated for a number of awards, along with Kathy Bates, and it is a real aberration of justice that she didn't win one. Finally, I have to mention Chris O'Donnell's appearance near the beginning of the film - unfortunately, it is a rather fleeting role!
Based on a book by Fannie Flag, who also co-wrote the screenplay, this is a lovely story that will melt most people's hearts. It has a bit of everything in it - death, murder, violence, possibly lesbianism - but most of all, it shows how love and respect for other human beings can overcome everything. I do not enjoy overly sentimental films, but the storylines and the characters of this one were strong enough to dilute the slushy parts and I was left with a feel-good film that shows there is always hope. I also liked the ambiguity of the film - wondering about the identity of Ninny and whether or not Idgie and Ruth were lovers - apparently the book is slightly different, but never having read it, this didn't bother me at all.
Another thing I liked about the film (and I'm sure many men reading will groan and look away in disgust at this moment!!) was its portrayal of strong women. All of four main women have upheavals in their lives, but they are all able to carry on regardless...usually without having to turn to their menfolk for help. As a willingly single woman, I really respected this. That does mean that some men will be put off the film, but I think, rather like Shirley Valentine, it was always supposed to be a women's film. That is not to say that men won't enjoy it though - there are plenty of nasty moments to counteract the saccharine ones. It probably isn't ideal for a family film though - at least not for young children - as the 12 rating proves.
The story is told via a series of flashbacks while Evelyn is visiting Ninny in hospital. Flashbacks can often be hard to follow, but there is nothing confusing about the way this story is told. I thought the balance was just right - Evelyn and Ninny's story is very much kept as a secondary thread, whereas everything is thrown into the Idgie and Ruth story, but this was just the way it should have been. Set in the deep South of the early twentieth century, there are clearly some potential racist moments that could upset some - the Ku Klux Klan (albeit a fake one) make an appearance at one point and the black population are clearly servants - however, Idgie and Ruth treat their 'servants', Sipsey and Big George, as part of the family.
I don't really have anything to criticise about this film, except perhaps that it isn't as memorable as it could be. I watched it again after several years, expecting to find it overly romantic and sentimental, but it is a very down-to-earth portrayal of ordinary lives. Most of all, it is a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours - it has all the ingredients of a good film, so if you haven't seen it before, I recommend that you do.
The DVD is available from play.com from £2.99.
Running time: 130 minutes
Fried Green Tomatoes is directed by Jon Avnet and stars Kathy Bates as Evelyn Couch, a middle-aged woman who is having marriage troubles and attending group therapy (without her husband). One day, the couple drive up to a residential home to visit his aunt, who for some reason doesn't want them there. While she waits for her husband to finish speaking to the nurses, she strikes up a conversation with an old lady, Ninny, who proceeds to tell Evelyn the story of the Whistle Stop Cafe, and that of the people who worked there, Idgie (Mary Stuart Masterson), a tomboy with a heart of gold, Ruth, Big George and Sipsie and of a scandal that took place there.
On the whole I enjoyed watching this film. Kathy Bates was superb as usual, and the story that Ninny tells is fascinating to say the least. Masterson was incredible as Idgie. She was totally convincing and really became her character.
On the other hand, a lot of it was just plain silly, such as a therapy session asking the clients to take their knickers off and stand over a mirror! I just thought that was absolutely absurd. Also, there was a totally contrived scene where a funeral was being held for someone's arm.
And at the end of the film it's not clear who Ninny is. There are hints at her being one of the people at the Whistle Stop Cafe that she was referring to in the third person, but that doesn't really make any sense.
It's clearly a women-empowerment vehicle, which it does very well I have to admit. There are some great lines in this film, such as "sorry girls, I'm older and I have more insurance".
I wouldn't watch it again but it kept me entertained for 130 minutes.
It scares me to see how old this film is now 1991, Wow,and it terrifies me to think how many times i have watched this film, the first time at the tender age of 8 :) This has to be the ultimate chick flick and perfect for a girls night in.
The story focuses on the relationship between Evelyn and Ninny. Ninny is staying in a residential home and meets Evelyn who is visiting a relative. It is not long before Ninny begins to share her story with Evelyn about Idgie Threadgoode. The story in set in the 1920's In Alabama. The story is about Idgie and her relationship with her Family, her friend Ruth and her fierce love and need to protect those around her, While shutting herself off from them at the same time.
It is a passionate and beautiful film. The running theme is based on Friendship and the lengths people will go to to help each other.
Idgie's determination is inspiring and aides The down trodden Evelyn to turn her life around and become the person she dreams of being.
This is on my top 5 list, An amazing film which has it all. And always leaves me feeling happy and warm.
There are loads of movies in the world that tell stories about the friendship between men, but rarely do you see films about female friendship. However Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is an exception to this rule.
The film is based on the book with the same title, and directed by John Avnet, who is an American director, writer as well as producer. The movie is his directorial debut and released in 1991.
The main storyline of the film is the friendship between two pairs of women, then and now.
Idgie and Ruth are the first pair of women. They came from a little town called Whistle Stop in the American Deep South in the 1930s. Together they ran a local café, which served old southern food, such as fried green tomatoes. They built up a strong friendship, even did not mind doing anything include murdering to protect the relationship.
Evelyn and Ninny are the other pair. Ninny is an old lady, who lives in a nursing house. From her memory the story developed that telling tales about the bigotry she encountered during her youth in 1930s. When Evelyn met Ninny and knew the moving friendship between Idgie and Ruth, she was inspired to do something about her life as well as her relationship with Ninny. At last they are close like a family.
The performances of the four actresses were very good, in particular Jessica Tandy, who plays Ninny and won an Oscar nomination. Incidentally the movie lasts 124 minutes and the DVD is currently available for £4.98 at amazon.co.uk.
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafè is one of my favourite movies. I would like to say it's a classical film that could be enjoyed by all especially for intelligent women.
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Mary Stuart-Masterson, Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary-Louise Parker and Chris O'donnell.
Who will like it:
Those who love a feel good film! i always watch it with my mother and it reminds me how important it is to have good friends. If you liked The Notebook and Steel Magnolias then this one is definatly for you.
Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates) is having a mid-life crisis and no-one particularly her husband Ed takes her seriously. Upon visting her mother-in-law in the Rose Terrace nursing home, she befriends Ninny threadgoode, an outgoing eighty something with lots of stories to tell. She takes Evelyn back to 1920's Whistle Stop, Alabama with tales of murder, intrigue, predjudice and above all friendship.
How much it cost:
I first picked mine up at a charity shop, but id imagine that HMV or Zavvi sell it pretty cheaply. Alternativley try Amazon or Play.
When ruth visits Idgie they hitch a ride on a cargo train and throw food out to the poorer villiages that they pass. Idgie jumps off, hurting her ankle and Ruth has to help carry her back home.
Its not a bad bit but a sad bit; when Buddy chases after Ruths hat and gets his foot stuck in the railway track. The scream from Idgie that follows is truelly chlling.
I'd recommend reading the book by Fannie Flagg before watching this film as it will mean more to you. However i watched the film before reading the book and it has always been one that i've loved. Classed as one of my favourite films, i always like to watch it as it is truelly timeless.
I think this is a great film. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will make you think about your own life, and how much control over it you have.
Its the story of Evelyn, a housewife who is not particularly happy with her lot in life, and her chance meeting with an old lady, Ninny Threadgoode, whilst visiting Evelyn's husband's relative in a retirement home. Ninny starts to tell Evelyn stories about a relative of hers, Idgie, and we see how the inspiration from Ninny's stories changes Evelyn's life.
One of my favourite scenes is when two young bimbos steal the parking place Evelyn was patiently waiting for, and how instead of accepting their derogatory comment of 'Let's face it lady we're younger and faster', she rams their car with her own, again and again, and when they run back screaming she comes back with 'Let's face it girls, I'm older and have more insurance'. Classic!!
The story about Idgie and Ruth would have made a fascinating film on its own, but woven in with the story of Evelyn, this is one of the most inspiring and watchable films ever.
Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates) is an unhappy housewife, whose reached middle-age and feels that her life is going nowhere. It doesn't help that her husband Ed (Gailard Sartain) continually ignores her and his convalescing aunt can't stand her, to the point of throwing objects at her when ever she goes to visit.
It is on one of these visits that a chance meeting with a sprightly old lady, Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy) leads to a surprising friendship. Ninny tales Evelyn a fascinating tale about two women who lived more than 50 years ago, in a little town called Whistle Stop, somewhere in Alabama. There was Idgie (Mary Stuart Masterson) a wild tomboy with a disregard for authority and her friend Ruth (Mary Louise Parker) who was reserved but with a heart of gold. Together they ran the local café which served good old southern cooking, fried green tomatoes and a huge portion of laughter and friendship, maybe the occasional murder.
Ninny's stories inspire Evelyn to do something about her life as their friendship grows.
This is one of those films which is like an old jumper which you loved and kept, but is now out of fashion or buried behind all the new ones. When you put the jumper on, you feel warm and cosy and good memories come flooding back. It's exactly the same with this film, it sits in your collection, gathering dust, as you get newer films, but all of a sudden you come across it and when you watch it, the story comes flooding back and it makes you feel good.
The main storyline of the film is the friendship between Idgie and Ruth and not as you would first expect the friendship between Evelyn and Ninny. We see, through many little stories told by Ninny, that although Idgie and Ruth didn't hit it off to start with, over time their friendship grew into an unbreakable bond and they would do anything to protect each other and their close friends. All these stories empower Evelyn to do something about her dull life, this leads to some very funny scenes including a self help class for women they are asked to straddle mirrors.
The star of the film for me is the wonderful Jessica Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy); her portrayal of Ninny is absolutely brilliant, so much so that she was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar for this role. Through every scene she comes across as someone who has seen a lot and learnt a lot and loves every minute of life. Next there is Kathy Bates as Evelyn Crouch, prior to this Bates was primarily known for her very scary role in Misery, so it was a surprise to see her playing this more comedic role. Bates has done a wonderful job of showing us a woman struck by a mid life crisis, but also showing us a funnier side as she tries to pull her self out of her depression, watch out for her dancing on a trampoline and singing "Stop in The Name of Love", by the end of the film, she has completely transformed. Then we have Idgie played by Mary Stuart Masterson who went onto to appear in "Benny & Joon" and Ruth played by Mary Louise Parker, these two stars seem to effortlessly play there parts and are a total joy to watch. The supporting cast in the film are just as important as the stars and there are some great performances from Stan Shaw, Cicely Tyson and Gailard Sartain. Also look out for Chris O' Donnell who appears in the film for a few very important scenes.
The film is directed by John Avnet who usually works as a producer. He has done a beautiful job of catching all the sentiment of the film allowing the story to be the star of the film. He has been fortunate to have not only an excellent cast to work with but some very beautiful locations which really help capture the mood and period of the film. His choice of shots within the scenes are also brilliant as they show the emotion of the scene, whether it's loneliness or happiness. As you would expect with a film set in the Deep South, the soundtrack features plenty of moody, bluesy numbers but also some very soft orchestral pieces which help demonstrate the emotions of the piece. There is also the bonus of some more modern fun tracks such as "Stop in the Name of Love".
Jessica Tandy .... Ninny Threadgoode
Kathy Bates .... Evelyn Couch
Mary Stuart Masterson .... Idgie Threadgoode
Mary-Louise Parker .... Ruth Jamison
Stan Shaw .... Big George
Gailard Sartain .... Ed Couch
Cicely Tyson .... Sipsey
Timothy Scott .... Smokey Lonesome (as Tim Scott)
Richard Riehle .... Reverend Scroggins
Raynor Scheine .... Curtis Smoote
Chris O'Donnell .... Buddy Threadgoode
Length: 124 mins
Conclusion & Rating
This film is my comfy jumper, I probably only watch it once a year but each time it never fails to make me feel good about myself. It's not a weepy or a romance, it is just an excellent story acted out by some very talented actors and directed with the emphasis on the story. No matter if you're young or old, male or female, this film has something for everyone, humour, drama, murder and a couple of surprise twists to the story.
The film is currently available at £4.97 on Amazon, and even without any special features, this DVD is excellent value.
I have never written a movie review but I just think everyone must know how wonderful this film is. It is inspiring and uplifting and will make you laugh and cry and I got so much strength from the characters especially Idgie that the film even managed to change me as a person-make be become much stronger and realise what is truly important in life and to stand up to what you believe in ALWAYS. This film gave me hope and taught me that life is full of ups and downs-it really got that into my head that you have to take the rough with the smooth but most of all to just enjoy life! This film has got me through a really rough time and I honestly dont know if I would be here today without the inspiration that the film fried green tomatoes at the whistle stop cafe gave me. This is just a personal review really wanting to tell everyone that its worth watching as it may change your life as it has mine!! I now have hope and will never give up.........
"Fried Green tomatoes at the Whistlestop cafè" is one of my favourite films. It is one of those I can see again, and again and again. It is a quite long film, but it also deals with quite many sides of life. It is telling two stories at the same time, and what connect them together is an old lady on a retirement home telling her story to a middleaged woman.. who is dealing with her own problems. Evenly Couch (Kathy Bates) is the middleaged woman, struggling to be recognised. Her husband care more about sports, and even the classes Evelyn is taking in order to help their marriage does not turn out to be any helpful. When she goes with her husband Ed to visit his aunt in a retirement home, his aunt throw things after Evelyn, so she has to wait in the lobby while he visits her. This is where she meets Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy), who starts talking about The Whistlestop Café and the story about the people who used to live there. The main characterd in Ninny's story are Idgie (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Ruth. While Ruth is deeply religious and Idgie plays pokers and drinks with the lads, they form a unique friendship. I don't want to tell you all about what happens, but the story Ninny is telling makes a very important part of the film. It deals with issues such as racism, murder, love, tradegy and friendship. The film is showing the story Ninny is telling, and we get to see how the lives of the people who used to live in Whistlestop affects and encourages Evelyn to do something about her life. And she does.... All I can say is that this is really a film worth watching. It is so much more that can be said about this film, more characters plays an important part, but it all gets to complex to write down in a little review if I want to give the film a fair look. And even though the story deals with serious issues, it is made in a very lighthearted way. It has it serious m
oments, no doubt about that, but it also have moments filled with laughter and manage somehow to show quite many sides of life itself. One thing that makes this film good, is also the two stories being told at the same time. The story about Evelyn who manage to get herself in to quite many funny situations in her attempts of self-realisation, and the story about the Threadgoodes who keeps surprising. Even though it has serious moments, it is a warm film with a room for smile and laughter. The film is based on the book with the same title, and if you like the film, I can tell you that the book has even more characters and events in it... However, I won't keep you longer. And if you were in doubt about whether to see the film or not, I hope I have managed to pursue you to give it a chance.
Fried Green tomatoes and the Whistlestop Cafe is a rather complex film. Essentially it is a comedy but it also has mystery, murder, romance, tradegy and friendship. Kathy Bates plays the role of Evelyn Couch - an overweight, middle-aged, Southern American woman whose life is becoming monotonous. Her husband Ed, is now more interested in sport than Evelyn. Evelyn tries to assert herself in the hope that she can rekindle the romance in her life. Ed has an old aunt in a retirement home that they both try to visit. I say “try to visit” because the aunt tends to throw projectiles at poor old Evelyn. It is at this point that Evelyn goes into the day room and meets Ninny Threadgoode. (Jessica Tandy) Ninny is quite a character and begins to speak of various events in her life. In particular the story Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth. Idgie was one of the youngest in the family and a bit of a tom boy. Buddy, her big brother took her under his wing and they seemed to have a special relationship. Buddy was a bit of a charmer, with a soft spot for Ruth. There is then a tradegy in the family and Idgie struggles to come to terms with the events. The family is at a bit of a loss as to how to help and hope that Ruth can help Idgie. A friendship is struck up between Ruth and Idgie but then Ruth informs Idgie of her intention to marry. I don’t want to tell you the whole story ........... so eventually, Ruth and Idgie set up the Whistlestop Cafe together, which serves good Southern food. There is trouble ahead though as not everyone is happy. Idgie then finds herself under investigation for a murder........ but what happened to the body? What has this got to do with Evelyn? The various twists in the tale intrigue Evelyn and she forms a strong bond with Ninny. As it turns out, these chats that Evelyn and Ninny have are far more effective than the assertiveness courses that Evelyn attends. The story of the Threadgoodes
’ helps to inspire Evelyn to make the necessary changes in her life. Evelyn re-invents Towanda Power! It is very hard to sum up this film due to the many facets which are within it. The antics which Evelyn gets up to are really quite hilarious, whilst the Threadgoode story is full of twists and is often sad. The combination of the stories mix well however, making this a thoroughly good film.
Evelyn Couch is having trouble in her marriage, and can't find anyone to confide in or to understand her. That is until she meets Ninny Threadgoode in a nursing home while visiting relatives; Ninny is an outgoing old woman, who tells her the touching story of Idgie Threadgoode, a young woman in 1920s Alabama. Through Idgie's inspiring life, Evelyn learns more about who she is and how to gain more control over her life, and builds an enduring friendship with Ninny. Stars Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jessica Tandy.