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|Index||151 reviews in total|
86 out of 119 people found the following review useful:
A Beautiful Film, 28 October 2004
Author: John Pearce (firstname.lastname@example.org) from England
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.
80 out of 111 people found the following review useful:
An Excellent Story Within A Story, 9 July 2004
Author: azifucare from Texas, USA
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!
74 out of 102 people found the following review useful:
Storytelling at Its Best, 25 March 2001
Author: Gary Murphy (email@example.com) from Olathe, KS, USA
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
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.
53 out of 84 people found the following review useful:
Consummate story-telling, served well by superlative performances, 22 February 1999
Author: Vijay Ramanujan (firstname.lastname@example.org) from New York, USA
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).
40 out of 62 people found the following review useful:
The Story Stays With You Long After the Movie Ends, 3 July 2003
Author: Ouarda from New York, NY
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.
45 out of 74 people found the following review useful:
The Ultimate, 17 May 2004
Author: chickskickass from Houston, TX
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
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.
45 out of 80 people found the following review useful:
A warm, well acted film with sexual overtones, 5 July 2002
Author: tanya_lamb from Atlanta, GA
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,
made me take a second look at this stunningly acted film about love,
friendship, devotion and racial issues in a multiple decade look at
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.
17 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
Cannibalism And Gendercidal Hatred, 4 October 2012
Author: Louis B Maybe from United Kingdom
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
OK, so here's why this film is the opposite of everything you've ever
been told it is: It's not a wonderful feel-good movie for the girls,
it's an ugly, violent fantasy in which justice is confused with
Let's break it down: There are no primary male characters in this movie. Of the secondary and tertiary ones, it could be said that all the (white) males are evil or inadequate. Buddy is good, of course, but inadequate. His own foolishness destroys him. Buddy Junior is equally good but equally inadequate.
Frank, on the other hand is just plain evil, and in between are more ambiguous male characters. The police chief is willing to help Idgie, it's true, but only because of his lecherous interest in her, and his mentality is thoroughly racist.
Of the male characters, only Big George is unambiguously both good and adequate. But Big George is a black man. And black men are oppressed men. In effect, they are not men at all: exempt on political grounds from the critique levelled at white men, they are honorary women.
This movie, couched in soft colours and sweet music, is one of the most casually misandric movies ever made. First of all, & most obviously, there is the EATING of her Evelyn's murdered husband. But it happens throughout the movie, as well, such as when Evelyn tells Frank "if I was going to kill you, I'd use my fists". She fantasizes about putting bombs in copies of Playboy and Hustler. "I'll take all the wife-beaters," she says, "and I'll machine gun their genitals!" "You didn't kill Ed, did you?" asks Ninny when Evelyn turns up late. "Not yet," answers Evelyn with a smile.
The problem here is not that women will leave theatres and go on killing sprees. The problem is simply the convincing presentation of a cinematic world in which only women have a 'right' to be angry, in which all women are victims, & all men - all white men,anyway - are evil oppressors or inadequate burdens. To the extent that both women and men consciously or subconsciously adopt this worldview, the mutual hostility that now characterizes relations between the sexes will be exacerbated instead of questioned or healed.
19 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
Huge disappointment, 23 August 2009
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I finally saw this movie. After all the great reviews I've read/heard,
I must say I'm unbelievably disappointed.
First of all, I couldn't believe how one-dimensional the characters were - they seemed like plot points rather than actual people. Wild and Crazy Idgy is wild and crazy, Shy and Submissive Ruth is shy and submissive, Mean Abusive Husband is mean and abusive. The characterizations seemed to go no further than that...how am I supposed to sympathize/identify with these people when they have no depth at all? What's worse, this movie was so predictable and contrived, and I feel like I knew exactly what was going to happen as soon as each scene began. The way they kept getting that shot of the cauldron and everyone kept mentioning how good the barbecue was after Mean Abusive Husband was missing? Come ON, a post-it note could figure out what was going on. And is it wrong that I almost laughed at the cliché, tear-jerky, practically-required-by-law death toward the end?
I'm not here to only complain - I must say that I found the segments with Evelyn to be very engaging, much more interesting than the flashbacks. Maybe this would have been better if it were two different movies?
No, it wasn't the worst movie I've ever seen, but I really don't think it deserves all the rave reviews it has on this site. Plus I think I'm extra resentful of the fact that, just because I'm a woman, I'm expected to fall hook line and sinker for this kind of dull mediocrity.
31 out of 53 people found the following review useful:
Sweet, Bittersweet, and Intense, 18 July 2005
Author: aharmas from United States
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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