11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2012
One of my all favourites. Initially, the DVD stopped playing at 1 hr 30 mins - no problem for Amazon. I had the option of a replacement or my money back and chose to get a replacement. Amazon emailed a return postage paid label and return coding slip and sent a replacement out immediately which I received very quickly. I even got an email letting me know they had received the one I had returned.
I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. One I have seen several times but the story is so engaging I wanted in my collection of favourites. Kathy Bates is great, so is Jessica Tandy.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2009
Je ne veux qu'avertir que cet excellent film, dans l'édition ici présentée, ne comporte pas de piste en français, comme cela est faussement annoncé.
Il faudrait que Amazon veille à beaucoup plus de rigueur à cet égard. J'ai déjà vécu la situation inverse ou la piste française était présente pour un DVD qui affichait ne pas en disposer.
Ça me semble très très important.
on July 5, 2004
I'm always surprised how badly great storytelling makes it to the screen. Particularly, great Southern stories, which tend to make it to the big screen replete with caricatures and stereotypes. I recall, with particular sadness, the movie adaptation of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. While this adaptation to the screen of Flagg's tremendously moving novel does have its share of simple, stereotypical southern "archetypes", these are largely drawn from Flagg's book, and are largely essential to the story. It is, without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable movies I have ever seen and, ten years after first seeing it, it still brings raucous laughter and tears to my eyes. It's the classic "story within the story", and begins with the introduction of a tenacious elderly widow to a repressed younger southern housewife in a nursing home in rural Alabama. What starts off to the housewife as polite and indulgent small talk of past acquaintances with a likely senile elderly woman turns rapidly into an engrossing story with what must be the best "hook line" in storytelling ("Why anybody would have thought she killed that man is beyond me!"). This story then becomes a parable which the housewife uses to change her life for the better.
While certainly a moral parable of the greater value systems of past times, and of loyalty and courage in the face of bigotry and oppression, the story never loses its infectious humor, despite some genuinely tragic events. The lesbian theme of the book is only mildly hinted at, and one would almost overlook it were one not to deliberately search for it. Some of the more brutal aspects of the book are retained, with the rampant racism and wife-abuse still harrowingly reflected, if toned down. Consequently, younger viewers may best appreciate the film in the company of an adult. Regardless, this is one of the best "feeling good" movies I have ever seen, and being a Southerner from an area very near that depicted in the book, makes me pine for the South in profound ways. It's a film about empowerment and, more importantly, the empowerment one gains through friends, and through standing up for one's friends, and through an unshakable belief in self-respect.
No little credit for the success of the film goes to the incredibly strong performances of Masterson as the tom-boyish Idgie Threadgood, and Marie Louise-Parker as Ruth Jamison, along with the underrated performance of Stan Shaw, one of TV's great character actors, as Big George. However, the film's strongest performances come from three grande dames of the screen (and stage): Cicely Tyson, as Sissy, Jessica Tandy, as Ninny Threadgood, and Kathy Bates, as Evelyn Couch. While Tandy and Bates have received their due, Tyson's performance, as always, is often overlooked.
on January 17, 2004
On DVD that is. When I heard this movie was coming out on DVD, I was more than overwhelmed. I had so badly been wanting to own this movie, and now I do. Don't think once about buying this movie, it'll keep you wanting to watch again and again. It gives you a sense of comedy and drama without ever dropping either category.
Evelyn Couch (The always wonderful Kathy Bates) has a pretty routine life. Go to marriage counseling, make her husbands dinner, and go to bed. That is until she meets Ninny (Jessica Tandy) an elderly lady living in a rest home near her house. Evelyns curiosity is growing as Ninny tells a story about two women she knew in time. The story is about stubborn Idgie (Mary Stuart-Masterson) who has stayed away from home ever since her older brothers death. Her and Ruth (Mary Louise-Parker) a family friend come to visit for the summer start to hit it off, and son become the best of friends. While Idgie the bee charmer collects honey, Ruth gets out more and learns to have fun. As the two become even closer, they decided, why not start a business? In the sleepy town of Whistle Stop, Ruth and Idgies cafe shall add a little spice to the town, and even attract some out of town visitors. Whether welcome, or unwelcome, the customers will play a big role in the story. Through everything, abusive husbands, Ku Klux Klansman, Trains, and deaths, the two will stay close friends. Evelyn is soon also giving herself more self respect, and is coming back more and more to hear Niny's story, even becoming part of the story herself. Ninny and Evelyn soon become close friends too, and learn the valuable lesson to like things while they last.
Impeccable. Everything about this movie is flawless. With the directors commentary on the DVD, you find out new information about the film that interesting, and funny. You even get Sipseys recipes from the Whistle Stop Cafe itself. 5 stars for a movie to be cherished forever.
on December 24, 2003
This movie gets high marks in every category for faithfulness to the original book by Fannie Flagg. Kathy Bates plays an ignored wife just trying desperately to get her husband's attention. She visits her mother-in-law at a nursing home, but the nasty old woman throws things at her and she retreats to the community room to eat candy from her purse - and there she meets a lonely old woman (Jessica Tandy, so you just KNOW how good this movie will be!) whose tale of a lifelong friendship between Izzy and Ruth (Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary-Louise Parker) begins to help Bates change her life.
The story of Izzy and Ruth is told in flashback, back to the days during the Depression when they ran The Whistlestop Café by the side of the train tracks in a No Place little town in Georgia. The relationship of the two women to each other, to Ruth's son and her abusive ex-husband, to the African-American figures who carry epic roles, and to the families involved on both sides of the color line. It's a story of triumph over huge odds, of love and friendship, of personal growth and ultimately of dignity.
And it's funny as all get-out. Highest, highest rating.
on October 29, 2003
Reviewed Date: October 2003
Studio: Universal Studios
Running Time: 130 Minutes
Release Year: 1991
Directed By: Jon Aunet
Starring: Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jessica Tandy.
Co-Starring: Gailard Sartain, Stan Shaw, Cicely Tyson, Gary Basaraba, Grace Zabriskie, Richard Riehle, Grayson Fricke, Lashondra Phillips, Enjolik Oree, Nick Searcy, and Ginny Parker.
If you want to see a good movie for the whole family, "Fried Green Tomatoes" is the movie for you. It shows friendship, compassion, humor, laughter, and real life encounters.
The setting takes place in the late 1980's and takes you back in time a half century to the town of Whistle Stop, Alabama.
"Fried Green Tomatoes" is a movie for anyone. It can make the best of us laugh and cry through the entire movie. "Fried Green Tomatoes" is a movie that gives you two different stories within itself. One story takes you back to the 1930's. The other part of the story takes place in the 1980's between Ninny Threadgooda, telling the story of her past to help her new friend Evelyn get her life together.
The frienships made within the movie show that this woman do hold their friendships in very high regards. The friendship in the 1930's would help both women to get through some really tough times. The friendship in the 1980's between Ninny and Evelyn keep these two ladies on track.
I give this movie 5 stars because it is a movie for anyone. Also because it shows how good friends will help a loved one in need of there help at a drop of a hat. This movie is just a well rounded movie, filled with emotion.
on August 31, 2003
There's really nothing not to like here. Everything comes together like a Renoir painting. It's a gentle, beautiful film about friendship and how relationships can help us grow as human beings. It's lovely to look at. The sequences from 1930's Alabama are lush and rich in lighting, color and costume (outstanding cinematography by Geoffrey Simpson). Fanny Flagg's and Carol Sobieski's script is moving as the characters lack Southern rural stereotypes and are displayed as individuals and real people.
As expected, excellent performances from Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary-Louise Parker. Anyone of them could have walked away with an Oscar. To Ms. Parker's credit, her performance here could have catapulted her to vast commercial success, yet she followed her muse and heart via the theater instead. Although the various stories and themes are interesting, funny, nostalgic and sometimes tragic, the film is driven more by the characters and how the Evelyn/Ninny relationship (Bates/Tandy) parallels Ruth/Idgie (Parker/Masterson). It never bores as the characters and settings are so richly portrayed.
Director Jon Avnet, his cast and crew are to be congratulated. Fried Green Tomatoes is truly a work of art, one of the best films of the 1990's.
on August 22, 2002
I watched this after a few years, and was taken in, totally, all over again. Jon Avnet's debut as director is certainly admirable, as are the well received performances of Kathy Bates & Jessica Tandy. Fannie Flagg's novel provided a perfect opportunity for some great female performances. The Oscar nominated screenplay of Ms. Flagg & Carol Sobieski only lost the Oscar because it was up against another Woman-driven script, "Thelma & Louise" (which won). How often will that happen again? The real driving forces in this film are the performances of Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary Louise Parker (unappreciated, both, with a respectable body of work behind them) Chris O'Donnell, just before his remarkable performance in "Scent of a Woman", made a big impression. It seems strange to me that I remember Lesbian overtones from the press about this film and, though, understandable, I don't know why friendship films like "Butch Cassidy" or "Thelma" or the original Oscar-winner "Wings" never got that buzz. People in love, even platonically, should be applauded. There's not enough love out there, lately...
on January 2, 2002
I am writing this review just 5 minutes after I saw the movie. I never did that before, but the movie was so captivating that I wanted to rush here and advise everybody to see it. I haven't had the time yet to come up with some highbrow review, I just loved the movie.
An old lady, Ninny, tells a younger (in her 40s?) woman, Evelyn, the story of two other women she knew in her youth - Ruth and Idgy. Ruth and Idgy's story is interrupted several times so that Ninny and Evelyn's interaction can progress. Ruth and Evelyn's story is so emotionally captivating that I was annoyed by the comic relief provided by Evelyn.
Anyway, the honesty and the depth of affection between Ruth and Idgy rings so true that it is impossible not to root for them.
Idgy and Ruth are both extremely brave; Idgy is tomboyish-brave, Ruth is ladylike-brave, but both take charge of their own life (and other people's life too) in an environment fraught by prejudice.
Then there is the question of the lesbian undertones. There are hints about that possibility throughout the movie. Too close to call. My impression is that Idgy's love for Ruth was total (what we would call lesbian love, in today's terms); Ruth understood Idgy, but she loved her only in a platonic sense. Idgy respected that and never pushed forward. Anyway, this is just my opinion and the movie is open to interpretation. Whatever your standing, mutual love (and NOT attraction) is the true core of the movie.
on April 19, 2001
Get out the tissues and get ready for laughs and tears as Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy dish out the humor and the sadness that makes "Fried Green Tomatoes" such a popular hit among all types of people. The movie is a stunning vignette of life in a time gone by, regailed by an witty old lady to an aging woman who feels her femininity slipping through her fingers. The movie proves that the simplest elements of any friendship are those that are strong enough to survive any ordeal, and it tells this in such a way that one cannot help but enjoy it. For me, the movie strikes such a deep chord within my heart that it kept me captivated throughout: its powerful performances and emotional story is depressing and funny, but proves to be uplifting and joyful.
The story centers around the unlikely friendship between octegenarian Ninny Threadgood, who resides at a nursing home that the menopausal Evelyn Couch happens to be visiting one day. The two meet, and Ninny begins to tell her the story of a young, rebellious girl named Igdy Threadgood, who is devastated by the death of her brother Buddy and alienates herself from her family and few friends. Captivated by the conversation, Evelyn cannot help but return for more of the story, and thus begins a close friendship between the two.
Ninny's story continues into a mesmerizing tale of emotional strength and courage of two women who refused to allow anything stand in their way. Idgy soon makes her way back into her family's life, with the help of Buddy's sweetheart, Ruth Jamison. Ruth is good-natured and proper, but soon learns the ways of fun and giddiness from Idgy's rambunctious tactics. Their frienship soon begins to flounder when Ruth's marriage separates them, but upon learning that Ruth is being beaten by her husband, she comes to the rescue in a heartbeat. Upon the opening of a restaurant, their relationship grows stronger, ultimately proving that it can survive anything.
And there are even more hardships in store for them, ones that cannot be disclosed for fear of giving too much of the suspenseful and sometimes hilarious ending away. There is a mystery involving the characters of the past, one that brings us into its arms and holds tight until the final resolution.
Crossed with Ninny's story is the present-day life of Evelyn, whose menopausal outbursts provide some of the funniest film moments to date. Her marriage is all but fulfilling, as displayed in her attempts to get her husband "in the mood." Attending classes in order to try and rediscover her femininity only succeeds in making her look and feel more foolish. And her sweet nature will not allow her to stand up for herself in any way, shape or form. This is where Ninny's story has such an uplifting impact on her: through the stories of Ruth and Idgy, Evelyn is able to turn her life into the one she has always wanted, with hilarious results.
Ninny's story is universal in its themes, but is set in the 1930's in the fictional Southern town of Whistle Stop, which is decribed by Ninny as "a little knock-about place." The movie doesn't just bring that time and place to life, but instead reincarnates it through vivid use of authentic set designs and costumes. Everything about this film oozes of this period in time, which is essential to a movie whose setting revolves around it. I was more than convinced by it, which allowed me to pay attention to the more important aspects the movie serves up.
Its many themes are gloriously portrayed through the two friendships, in different ways and mannerisms. Ruth and Idgy have such a strong bond, and they were able to sell me on that friendship, which is what wins the movie over for me. Their willingness to do anything for one another, and I do mean anything, inspires a very warm feeling of devotion and emotional ties. The friendship between Evelyn and Ninny is so special because of the circumstances under which they meet as well as the many ways in which Ninny inspires Evelyn to take charge of her life. Like Idgy and Ruth, they are there for one another when the going gets tough, which strengthens their bond and keeps their friendship intriguing to watch unfold.
The movie is full of so many elements: laughter, heartwarming emotion, depression, and tears. The laughter comes from the mischievous machinations of Ruth and Idgy, as well as from Evelyn's reawakening. The emotion comes from watching the devotion of these friends, and the lengths they go to for one another. And the tears... they are not so much tears of sadness as they are tears of joy for the message of friendship and togetherness that the movie shouts out. This story speaks to us on so many different levels, and it reaches all of these levels with peak intensity and success.
The defining work in this film comes from the incredibly strong performances of the four actresses who bring their characters to life with a brilliant deluge of emotion. Jessica Tandy portrays Ninny with a charm and spry wit that makes her character loveable and realistic. Kathy Bates is a knock-out as Evelyn, and her incredible performance as a woman on the brink of losing her mind and then finding her true happiness is impeccable and delightful. Both Tandy and Bates garnered Academy Awards for their work in this film. Mary Stuart Masterson is the tomboyish Idgy, bringing out all of her character's traits and characteristics meticulously and, it appears, with incredible ease. Mary Louise Parker is convincing as the well-rounded Ruth, retaining her proper ways yet never allowing them to interfere with their friendship.
I was highly entertained in many different ways by "Fried Green Tomatoes." The performances were solid and convincing. The characters were intriguing and genuine, emotional and moving. The story speaks out in many ways about the ties of friendship and love, while harnessing all of its themes and messages together without falling short on delivering them. The film proves itself to be a worthy human drama with a solid backbone.