Evelyn Couch is having trouble in her marriage, and no one seems to take her seriously. While in a nursing home visiting relatives, she meets Ninny Threadgoode, an outgoing old woman, who tells her the story of Idgie Threadgoode, a young woman in 1920's Alabama. Through Idgie's inspiring life, Evelyn learns to be more assertive and builds a lasting friendship of her own with Ninny. Written by
While I love this film, and have seen it a dozen times at least, the maturing of my mind since the first time I saw it as a teen in 1991, have made me take a second look at this stunningly acted film about love, friendship, devotion and racial issues in a multiple decade look at women's roles in society.
Anyone who went to college where I did would see that Idgy from her childhood is the sterotypical Lesbian. She does not like to wear dresses and prefers a man's dress even as a youngster. As she ages, and as Ruth befriends her, she is tantalized by a kiss Ruth gives her on the cheek at the swimming hole and so devastated by Ruth's wedding that she does not even attend but instead drives hours to Valdosta, Georgia to look on hurtfully from the woods at Ruth carried in her new home in her wedding dress.
As the film progresses and Ruth is rescued from her abusive relationship the two start a cafe called Whistle Stop Cafe in Whistle Stop, Alabama. If one watches carefully they'll see that the two live together in a house near the cafe. In one poignant moment, the two women are talking over coffee late at night in the cafe when Ruth says that she feels bad that Idgy may feel she needs to stay and care for Ruth and Buddy Threadgoode Jr. (Buddy is Ruth's son but has Idgy's last name?!) Ruth says that if it weren't for she and Buddy, Idgy may "settle down" Idgy dramatically replies "I am as settled as I am ever going to be" and "I don't want you to move out" The clincher was the image they showed shortly after that scene of Ruth in a feminine dress and Idgy in shorts and a shirt and tie, holding each other and smiling. Idgy never married or dated and Ruth never remarried.
Everyone must come to their own conclusion but mine is two women in the 1930's who enjoy a healthy, loving lesbian relationship with the disguise of business partners in a time and place when different anything race, religion or creed, was just not tolerated or accepted.
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