Still touching after all these years

by Ruby Yang

An inspiring tale of friendship, love, and the ordeals we go through as human beings, Fried Green Tomatoes is a movie everyone can relate to. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll probably even find yourself frustrated beyond words when things don’t go right for the movie’s lovable characters.

The movie, which is based off Fannie Flagg’s 1987 novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, is a heartwarming story that will not be forgotten. The movie follows the life of Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates,) an unhappy housewife going through a midlife crisis who, while visiting the nursing home in which her husband’s aunt resides, meets and befriends Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy.) A rather friendly and spunky old woman, Ninny immediately begins to tell Evelyn the story of Idgie Threadgoode (Mary Stuart Masterson,) her mischievous tomboy sister-in-law who lived in the rural south during the 1920s.

Fried Green Tomatoes
Directed by
Jon Avnet
Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson
Release Date
24 January 1992
Ruby’s Grade: A

As you can expect, the movie switches between the life of present day Evelyn, and the past, where we see the development of Idgie’s lifetime friendship with Ruth Jamison (Mary-Louise Parker.) While most movies that attempt this switch between present and past usually end up interrupting the flow of the story, Fried Green Tomatoes does an excellent job of keeping you interested in both Evelyn and Idgie’s storylines. Never once do you feel the need for the movie to get back to Idgie’s story. Instead you grow to love all the characters (aside from the “bad guys”, naturally.)

From beginning to end, you’ll find yourself rooting for Evelyn and Idgie, and of course, who can forget the lovable Ninny? The cinematography for the movie is outstanding as well, and really manages to capture the rustic charm of the south. Every scene is beautifully shot, with attention to the most minute details such as period appropriate props and costumes.

Added together with the enthralling storyline, it’s almost as if you’ve stepped back in time for a wild adventure with Idgie and Ruth. And when the movie switches back to present day, you’ll feel as if you’re Evelyn’s friend and moral support, cheering her on as she tries to take back control of her life. In short, this movie is a timeless classic, and a sure to be movie favorite, at least that was the case for me. I had originally found out about this movie a few years back, while channel surfing.  Ever since, this movie has become one of my all-time favorite films. However, I understand that everyone’s movie preferences differ, and that “chick flick” dramas aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. If so, don’t let that stop you from watching the movie. I definitely recommend at least giving this movie a chance.

It’s so much more than the usual sappy love story. Instead, think of it as a vignette into a person’s life—that behind every face is an interesting story waiting to be told. Also, if you like to read, or when you’ve finished watching the movie and need some more Idgie Threadgoode in your life (I know I did!) I recommend reading the book, which goes into more detail, and also explores more into the lives of the minor characters in the movie. And so, without further ado, make some popcorn, grab a box of tissues, and get ready for an inspirational and endearing two hours of your life.