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Fried Green Tomatoes
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Reviews & Ratings for
Fried Green Tomatoes More at IMDbPro »

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84 out of 100 people found the following review useful:

Storytelling at Its Best

9/10
Author: Gary Murphy (glm@hilbertinc.com) from Olathe, KS, USA
25 March 2001

I enjoyed this movie immensely. This is one of the best examples of storytelling that I have seen. The structure of the movie - alternating between the past and present, with multiple intertwining plots - keeps the viewer hooked on how the story will unfold. It unfolds gracefully and is enjoyable throughout.

The acting is exceptional. Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary Louise Parker carry the bulk of the acting load. They are fantastic. The relationship between these very different young women is complex and satisfying.

Since the movie is about women and the female roles are so strong, this movie has been dubbed a "chick flick", but that pejorative is unfair. This is good film making and those who like plot-driven cinema will enjoy this immensely. This one is in my DVD collection.

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88 out of 108 people found the following review useful:

A Beautiful Film

Author: John Pearce (johnpearce48@aol.com) from England
28 October 2004

This is truly a beautiful film.

Well written and superbly acted it tugs at the heartstrings harder than almost any other movie. The way it sets up an obvious story line and then like a gentle roller-coaster suddenly takes you in another direction is unequalled in this type of film.

There are so many points of genuine sadness and whenever you think you have guessed the story you suddenly turn to find an outcome more surprising than you thought.

Major characters die, major characters do not "fall in love" and major characters are not allowed to cop-out; it is as a film should be.

Remarkable well written, produced with care and acted with understatement and love - it is a beautiful film.

Watch it.

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84 out of 102 people found the following review useful:

An Excellent Story Within A Story

10/10
Author: azifucare from Texas, USA
9 July 2004

I must admit. When I first heard of this movie many years ago, the title didn't sound that appealing and the few scenes that I saw didn't look very interesting. But what can I say? I was little then and didn't know what I was missing. My mother kept telling me how good of a movie this was, but I was just too stubborn and didn't pay attention. It was only a few months ago that I decided to watch it when it appeared on TV and boy was I surprised!!

This movie is beyond anything that I have ever viewed in my entire life. Usually, this sort of movie isn't the kind that I look at, but I fell in love with the story and the characters, as well as the wonderful actresses (Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Mary-Louise Parker) who did an outstanding job portraying their characters in a unique and unforgettable way.

Since I don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't seen it, let me just say that it's an astounding tale of a special friendship that goes way beyond what we would call a "regular" one. It will make you thankful for the friends you have and even give women a sense to stand up for their own rights. All in all, I give this movie a 10 out of 10. If you haven't seen it, what are you doing reading this?! Go out and rent it!

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58 out of 76 people found the following review useful:

Consummate story-telling, served well by superlative performances

10/10
Author: Vijay Ramanujan (vijayr@cybernex.net) from New York, USA
22 February 1999

Fannie Flagg's novel of immense complexity (huge cast and innumerable separate stories) could have been impossible to film. However, it is made possible, in large part, by the performances of Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary Louise Parker in what should have been billed as the lead roles. They play the two southern women who's joint story this movie revolves around. Jessica Tandy's role is to relate the story to a lost and longing Kathy Bates (in modern times). Director Jon Avnet ties the two together nicely at times, awkwardly at times, but always (except the end) without doing damage to either. He (and the production crew) bring to life a 'peaceful' southern town very nicely.

The two Marys manage to convey the fullness of a complex relationship with apparent ease. There on-screen chemistry is nothing short of dazzling, and one is left wondering when and how these two actresses carved out such detailed characters without giving voice to their motivations and feelings. While it is rare that dialogue directly addresses the heart and nature of their relationship, what that is becomes clear quickly and transcends the plot of the story to become the real unifying element in this movie. That neither was recognized (in the conventional way) for their performances is unfortunate (which is an understatement).

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52 out of 68 people found the following review useful:

The Ultimate

9/10
Author: chickskickass from Houston, TX
17 May 2004

This is such an awesome movie. I remember watching it as a girl, and when I found it in a clearance bin a few months ago, I jumped on it. I watched it then, and now, having watched it again... Mary Stuart Masterson is AMAZING. Tears fall unwittingly down my cheeks during her performance. I was also enchanted by Mary-Louise Parker, and I always always LOVE Kathy Bates. Jessica Tandy is also her usual fit self, and Cecily Tyson was great ("Shoo! I ain't scared of you!") and I could go on for ages about all of them.

I will admit that this is the Ultimate Chick Flick. That title, however, does not detract from its overall quality. The men are more than just caricatures, and the nostalgia and love of the book made its way into the movie. I have to commend Avnet for his efforts.

And now that I am out of intelligent things to say, THIS MOVIE ROCKS MY SOCKS! It's re-watchability and great everything make this the movie (along with Love and Basketball and my Buffy DVDs) that I take with me to college and suggest we watch at every opportunity.

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43 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

The Story Stays With You Long After the Movie Ends

10/10
Author: Ouarda from New York, NY
3 July 2003



This is one of my top five films of all time. I was somewhat skeptical the first time I saw it because I adored the book and I knew there were some changes, but I found the essence of Fannie Flagg's fabulous novel in tact. This is a story that burrows into your heart and mind and stays there. It is absolutely magical storytelling with a stellar cast and beautifully written characters that never fade from memory.

A time and place in America, filled with the best and the worst of our life and history, is impeccably captured. The flashbacks take us to the time of an Alabama whistle stop town that was a bustling hub when the railroad was the center of all movement. This was the era of hobos and simple pleasures. The scenes from the past become more powerful by the juxtaposition to modern times, where the story begins and returns at intervals.

Kathy Bates plays Evelyn Couch, an unhappy middle-aged housewife who stumbles on Ninny Threadgoode (the superb Jessica Tandy) one day by accident at the nursing home where she is visiting one of her husband's relatives. The two have an instant chemistry and a deep friendship begins. Ninny proceeds to tell Evelyn the story of Idgie and Ruth, two young women who shared an amazing friendship and love 50 years earlier.

This movie has to be experienced, as mere descriptions might sound like another southern-flavored movie about women or a weepy nostalgic tale. It is much more than that, and more than the most glowing review can ever convey. If you are reading this and haven't seen it, please make a point to. The actors are nothing short of magical. All four actresses (Jessica Tandy, Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary-Louise Parker) are at the top of their craft.

I will borrow a line from Ninny Threadgoode to describe how I always feel after seeing this film. "I may be sitting here in this nursing home but in my mind I'm over at the Whistle Stop Cafe having a plate of Fried Green Tomatoes".

I may be sitting here finishing this comment but in my mind I'm at the Whistle Stop Cafe. That's how powerful this story is for me.

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49 out of 73 people found the following review useful:

A warm, well acted film with sexual overtones

8/10
Author: tanya_lamb from Atlanta, GA
5 July 2002

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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32 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Sweet, Bittersweet, and Intense

10/10
Author: aharmas from United States
18 July 2005

This is a film you are bound to fall in love with. All of its characters feel real, intense, reaching out to touch with their passion and the film's nostalgic feel.

It contains some of my favorite performances of all time: Masterson, Parker, Tandy, and Bates give their very best, bringing two life fictional women who feel real, strong, and powerful. The film is very emotional, never maudlin, never disrespecting any of its components or the audience. It allows us to feel we are part of a world that might not exist anymore. What I like most about the film is how it embraces a passion for living.

There is much to be admired about the technical aspects of the film as well. It travels back and forth in time, with a structure that is hard to describe but a joy to watch as it shows how the main relationships were born, developed, and eventually were transformed into something more spiritual. The music is haunting and quite suitable to the delicate relationships, and the photography makes everyone and everything lovely, dreamlike at times.

The film will live on and will eventually be regarded as a classic. It deserves it so.

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30 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

What An Authentic Flavor This Film Has

6/10
Author: Lechuguilla from Dallas, Texas
29 April 2005

The twenty year friendship between two young women in the early twentieth century American South is the focus of this 1991 film from director Jon Avnet. Told in flashbacks, the story adopts a modern POV, with social empowerment being the theme. As such, the story is both unusual and unexpected, given its historical time frame. Viewers will be disappointed if they expect a more traditional Southern story ... about some dark, sinister secret emotionally repressed, and set among the lazy willows and old Magnolia trees.

Empowerment can be a wonderful thing. But, if it is taken to extremes, as it is in two subplots, one involving Frank Bennett, and the other involving Evelyn Couch, then it can be a cause for concern. And that's my main problem with this film. The subplots tend to lack credibility, although they do not detract from the overall character study of Idgie and Ruth.

What was most impressive to me was the film's atmospheric "flavor". Production design, set decoration, and costumes all sparkle with such vitality and detail, that you really feel like you're back in the rural South of the 1920's.

Most modern films pander to youth. To its everlasting credit, "Fried Green Tomatoes" features the wisdom of an elderly character, played by Jessica Tandy, in a nursing home. An added bonus of the film is Kathy Bates, whose acting is always first-rate.

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16 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

As good as it gets.

10/10
Author: screenman from United Kingdom
18 March 2006

This movie might easily pass you by. It's quirky, long-winded title suggests something arty or perhaps comical in a needlessly pretentious way. Well; it is arty, and it is often funny, but there isn't a particle of pretentiousness. I got to see it only because my newspaper included it as a free DVD in the weekend issue. But for that, I might still be in ignorance now.

It seems incredible that something so wonderful can be had for nothing.

Kathy Bates plays the role of a mature but still comparatively young woman who has a marriage going nowhere. Her husband has reached the point where he just doesn't seem to care any more. Actually, it's not that he doesn't care; he just hasn't noticed how bad things have got. Like so many couples, they have just let themselves slip into a rut.

However; she has noticed, and means to do something about it. When hints, make-overs and candlelit dinners prove inadequate, she finds unexpected inspiration in a feisty old woman called Ninny Threadgoode.

This woman - played by Jessica Tandy - dilates upon her past, and in particular, a friendship between two young women called Idgie and Ruth (Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary Louise Parker). The movie then shifts between the present-day circumstances of an increasingly emancipated wife, and the flashback reminiscences of her inspiration.

Some have rather misguidedly referred to this movie as a 'chick-flick' as if it were dedicated to a female audience or in some way espoused the cause of feminism. Such opinions do a disservice. To see it in this light, because the principal parts are female, is like dismissing 'The Shawshank Redemption' as a male 'buddy' movie. Both are about two people who's enduring friendship unites them against adversity. Lesbian love is barely hinted at.

Director, Jon Aunet has created a spellbinding work. It has a wonderful, lyrical fidelity, like a Renoir painting, whereby the few moments of comedy appear as small, flagrant brush-strokes in an otherwise pastel completeness. There are moments of heartbreaking and tender subtlety when Thomas Newman's music score expresses human feeling more fluently than the spoken word.

Sound-engineers seldom receive the recognition they deserve. All too easily we take the ambiance of the moment completely for granted. Viewers should pay particular attention to the authenticity of this movie, and marvel. The dreary interior of an unhappy home or the mildness of a sunlit summer-evening carry such authentic presence that one can almost feel the chill of anger, the sweetness of the season.

Some have found fault with this movie somewhere. I confess to being too lachrymose to see anything other than the director's intentions. Excellent script, flawless acting, impeccably chosen music and ambiance to reach out and touch.

This is a truly redeeming experience. Amongst the spoil-heaps of formulaic Hollywood wretchedness, gems like this help remind us that humanity is still worth caring about.

The detail of life is what really gives us meaning.

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