Screening in partnership with our Film Club 3.0!
Jessica Tandy had won the best actress Oscar for DRIVING MISS DAISY in 1989. Kathy Bates took home the same prize the following year for MISERY. And, in 1991, Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary-Louise Parker were two of the most promising leading ladies of their generation. Put these four powerhouse performers together, and it’s no wonder FRIED GREEN TOMATOES was one of the most popular films of its day.
Based on Fannie Flagg’s novel FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AT THE WHISTLE STOP CAFE, director Jon Avnet’s film moves between two relationships taking place more than half a century apart. In the modern-day storyline, unhappy Alabama housewife Evelyn Couch (Bates) is surprised when she befriends and bonds with elderly nursing home resident Ninny Threadgoode (Tandy), who fascinates Evelyn with her tales of feisty, tomboyish Idgie Threadgoode (Masterson) and her deep friendship with Ruth Jamison (Parker) during the 1920s and 1930s. The Whistle Stop Cafe, which Idgie and Ruth operated, was an important place in their small town and, in addition to dishing up delectable barbecue, the Cafe’s employees cooked up a few major scandals as well.
Like HIDDEN FIGURES, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES is one of those “surprise sleepers” that focuses on the kinds of women typically ignored or pushed to the sidelines in conventional Hollywood blockbusters. Audiences fell in love with the quartet of central characters and the movie’s irresistible combination of emotional drama, enduring love and delightful humor. The film also played a substantial role in bringing the title delicacy out of Southern kitchens and into restaurants across the nation. Twenty-five years later, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES is still a treat.