Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

Fried Green Tomatoes

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

(1992)

Notes: Universal Pictures. 130 minutes.
Evelyn Couch: Kathy Bates
Idgie Thredgoode: Mary Stuart Masterson
Ruth: Mary-Louise Parker
Ninny Threadgoode: Jessica Tandy
Ed Couch: Gailard Sartain
Big George: Stan Shaw
Reverend Scroggins: Richard Riehle
Buddy Jr. Grayson Fricke

Director: Jon Avnet
Producers: Jon Avnet and Jordan Kerner
Screenplay: Fannie Flag and Carol Sobieske
Music: Thomas Newman
Based on the book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Caféby Fannie Flag


Summary: The 1930s story of two lifelong friends, Idgieand Ruth, is retold during the 1990s. The elderly Ninny Threadgoodetells their story to Evelyn Couch. Couch becomes entranced bytheir story and continues to visit Ninny Threadgoode in a nursinghome so that she may learn more. Threadgood’s stories about thetwo strong-willed women inspire Couch to become more assertivein her life. The stories focus on the early adult years of Idgieand Ruth. Ruth befriends Idgie and tries to get her to be morerespectable. However, Idgie also manages to get Ruth to enjoylife more. Troubles start for the two when Ruth marries. Unfortunately,her husband’s violent temper soon leads to his battering Ruth.Idgie manages to convince Ruth to leave him and the two foundthe Whistlestop Café.


Commentary: While most of this film revolves around thetwo women’s friendship, there are plenty of small moments whenone gets to see presumably mouthwatering food. Also, there aremany food scenes at the Whistle Stop Café. In the firstfew moments one is treated to short clips of food laid out fora wedding meal. However the best scenes involve Idgie trying outa recipe for fried green tomatoes, this soon devolves into a foodfight between Idgie and Ruth which eventually results in the townsheriff getting frosting smeared all over his face and shirt.The barbecued ribs that are served to the detective also appearmouthwatering until you learn their origin (yes, this charmingstory of friendship among women involves cannibalism). The mealsthat are prepared by Evelyn Couch are also quite appetizing; onemeal is fried chicken and mashed potatoes, and later they consistof tofu. The food moments in this film are relatively few butthere are sufficient shots to make this a good food film.


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