|Fried Green Tomatoes (Extended Anniversary Edition)|
|Retail Price: $14.98|
|Sale Price: $4.98|
Review by: Jennifer Brooks
Arguably the best quality lesbian film ever made. Fried Green Tomatoes is a mainstream feature film and has production values to match, plus an all-star cast delivering outstanding performances all around. The story is engaging, supremely acted and masterfully crafted.
Based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg, this movie covers the range of human relationships on both the societal and interpersonal level, from the coarsest social injustices to the most intimate human bonds. Through the effortless flow of story, the balance and abuse of power between the races and between the sexes are illustrated with rich characters and compelling conflicts. Money and power, loyalty and betrayal, secrets and trust, love and hate, prejudice and heroism. It’s a lot to pack into one film, but Fried Green Tomatoes does it without being contrived.
There are two main stories, that of Ruth (Mary-Louise Parker) and Idgie (Mary Stuart Masterson) set in depression era South, and that of Evelyn (Kathy Bates), and Ninny (Jessica Tandy), a repressed ‘80s housewife and an elderly woman who says she knew Ruth and Idgie.
The blatant sexual relationship between Ruth and Idgie in the book is veiled but still obvious in the film. It’s easy to criticize the film for removing the openly romantic relationship between soul mates Ruth and Idgie, but also very understandable considering resistance that still exists to bringing openly gay characters to the screen in big budget feature films.
It seems to me that the filmmakers made sure Ruth and Idgie’s relationship was crystal clear to all who wanted to see it, yet obscured enough to be deniable for those who couldn’t handle it. Playing both sides of the fence, while not acceptable to some, seems a worthwhile compromise if it meant getting this wonderful story to the big screen. Enough people shared this opinion for Fried Green Tomatoes to win an award from GLAAD for best feature film with lesbian content.
The power of Ruth and Idgie’s bond, their life force and courage transcend time through Ninny’s stories and take new shape in Evelyn’s life. Evelyn harnesses an inner power she never knew she possessed, breaks free from her suburban funk with newfound enthusiasm and takes control of her life.
This is an intense, multilayered movie that showcases the strength, love and determination of women in an entertaining, engaging and at times gut-wrenching story. The ultimate triumph of the human spirit and of good over evil helps to elevate the viewer above the fray of human cruelty endured in parts of the film.
Don’t let the darkness scare you away. Fried Green Tomatoes gives you a balanced ride of ups and downs. Trust the film to drop you off safely at the end with a satisfied smile on your face and a hankering for honey, car insurance and fried green tomatoes.
Date Night: HIGH
Plenty of warm fuzzy love connection and snuggling opportunities.
Buddy Night: HIGH
Laughs and entertainment liberally sprinkled throughout. It’s got action, drama and comedy. This is a good crowd pleaser.
It’s a well done, honest to goodness drama.