10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fried Green Tomatoes
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...
Published on Jan. 8 2012 by Dee
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Director Avnet gets a C-minus for ignoring lesbian subtext
Fanny Flagg's novel, though intentionally or nor,portrayed a lesbian subtext relationship between Idgy and Ruth. Even though these heroines were never found between the sheets they definately had a romantic relationship. The book does a much better job at looking at this dynamic; two women who are devoted to each other beyond any other relationship. When, in the...
Published on July 6 1999
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4.0 out of 5 stars A feast of delectable entertainment,
In an era where most women's film roles are confined to stereotypical sex objects and second bananas, Fried Green Tomatoes is a breath of fresh air.
The film, directed by Jon Avnet, boasts not one, but four strong women's roles. They are executed to near perfection by actresses Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker and Jessica Tandy.
Adapted from from Fannie Flagg's novel, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, the film tells two fascinating, intertwining stories.
The first centers on the Bates character, a middle-aged woman attempting to make sense of life and menopause. She meets a nursing home resident played by Tandy, whom she visits for solace. Tandy shares her recollections of life in her hometown of Whistle Stop, which become the film's second story.
Tandy and Bates are excellent, as one might expect from two Oscar winners. The star turns, however, come courtesy of Parker and Masterson; their performances make the flashback sequences the most beautiful and telling parts of the film.
Though some might dismiss Fried Green Tomatoes as strictly the stuff of sentimentalists, it offers more than just good feelings. In one scene, there is a surprising act of violence that culminates in a scene of disgustingly fitting logic, and racial attitudes are also explored.
No matter how you slice it, Fried Green Tomatoes is a feast of delectable entertainment.
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Great!,
By A Customer
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Immensely entertaining in many diverse ways.,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop To Smell The Roses,
A highly under appreciated movie that spans two generations. It is really difficult to write about a story that touches you so personally and this is one of those situations. Having lived in a rural town, I can see the power of a place like the Whistle Stop Cafe and the impact that lives of two people can mean to each other. The parallel lives of Idgie and Ruth juxtaposed by the chance meeting of Ninny and Evelyn show us nothing less than the power of friendship in a time of caricatures and high tech. Masterson, Parker, Tandy and Bates produce a tension that is Oscar caliber and produces beauty. Take all that and combine it with memorable moments and you have a masterpiece for all times. I loved the nostalgia, the stopping to listen to stories. Bee Charmer Idgie stops at nothing to live for others, specially that time when she took Ruth on a train ride only to throw the food over to the less fortunate and to give a nervous drunk a quick fix and story to ease the pain. Oh how I wish I had time to effect such altruism, maybe I really do. Like Evelyn says: 'I'm too young to be old and too old to be young.' But it is movies like this that leave you with "Lord never shuts one door without opening another." It is a movie of getting a life, good food and good company. It is movie of possibility and since we are, as Hiedegger says, in a state of becoming, the show opens up for us a fresh look at the possibilities of life and a fresh look a plastic wrap. Watch it over and over again and feel the potential and see what life has to offer. A resounding 5 stars, nothing less.
5.0 out of 5 stars Visit the Whistlestop Cafe,
If you haven't seen Fried Green Tomatoes, don't wait, here it is. One of the best films of the 90's, it's one of those films where everything seems to come together seamlessly. Featuring wonderful, underrated performances, particularily by Mary-Louise Parker (Grand Canyon), Mary Stuart Masterson (Some Kind of Wonderful), Jessica Tandy (nominated for an Oscar for this performance) and also noteworthy supporting performances by Gailard Sartain as Ed Couch, Stan Shaw as Big George, Richard Riehle as Reverend Scroggins, Nancy Moore Atchison as the youngest Idgie, Raynor Scheine as Curtis Smoote and Chris O"Donnell, in one of his first film performances, shines as Buddy Threadgoode. The film, based on the novel by Fanny Flagg (aka the actress Patricia Neal-remember her in Hud?) interweaves tales which illuminate the hopes, dreams, struggles, heartbreak and loves of several women; the stages of understanding women go through in consciousness raising; and four stages of a womans life: childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. Although it's definitely a chick flick, men are, or should be, interested in what makes women tick and here's a good start. Directed by Jon Avnet (Up Close & Personal), music by Thomas Newman, cinema photography by Geoffrey Simpson (Little Women) and co-written by Fanny Flagg and Carol Sobieski (Oscar nomination for best adaped screenplay).
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than wildest dreams,
Collectors' editions can be a bit of a scam, a few tacky bells and whistles to make you think you're getting something cool. But Fried Green Tomatoes' collectors' edition was beyond my wildest dreams. Don't even think of buying the standard version if you can get this one. The "making of it" is a full-length documentary in its own right, and dispenses star interviews intermingled with unusual gossip and tidbits for fans... like why did Mary Stuart Masterton *really* do her own bee stunt! (The stunt double panicked and refused.)
The director's comments option was awesome - as is the case with any film where the project is the director's baby and a labor of love for years (as FGT was for Jon Avnet). The restored scenes shown were fascinating - such as Idgy mooning adoringly over Ruth while Ruth's teaching; and Grady pointing out to Idgy he doesn't wear size 14 boots and was certainly *not* a member of the KKK. For the most part (with two exceptions) I was very sad the removed scenes never made the final cut on original release.
The only quibble is the lovely little picture booklet the DVD comes with is at odds with some facts contained in the movie documentary. (eg That panicked stunt double apparently didn't panic after all if you believe the booklet.) And the booklet also promises a recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes on the DVD which isn't there. Nonetheless - this version is worth absolutely every cent. Tawandas out there should settle for nothing less...
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting look at Bad Ol� Alabammy,
While I have some reservations about the way this film was put together, I have to admit that, at the end, I was very favourably impressed. Possibly the film tried to do too much; possibly it found itself in difficulties at times and lacked clear direction. Whatever the truth of these first impressions, whenever the film started to get lost, it managed to find its way back to the main story without losing this particular viewer. At the same time, although I was occasionally peeved by dialogue that seemed contrived (more so in the first half-hour), the action held my attention with hardly a lapse. This is not easy to do when you are developing two stories concurrently, one in the past, one in the here and now. I must say those occasions when the story in the past was about to resume were not always well handled. Yet these are comparatively minor matters.
Much of what we are told about the times (we are in Alabama between the wars) comes through the mouthpiece (and actions) of the film's eccentric main character. An outspoken woman who never hesitates to challenge male authority, whether on behalf of her friends, the local Negroes, or a wife whose husband is beating her, she leads her own private fight against local bigotry. Indeed, it is the women in this film who hold our interest: they are all struggling in a male world to make a life for themselves. Perhaps the notion of a lone woman holding out in those times against racist townspeople, corrupt law enforcement agents and local Klansmen is a bit unlikely, but we admire her spirit. I won't say this is a great film, but it is well above average and certainly worth a couple of hours of anybody's time.
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie rich in color and character,
One of the most compelling things about Fried Green Tomatoes has to be the richness of the characters, each one with a definite and fascinating personality which shines through in this fantastic production.
Jessica Tandy, as usual, gives a sterling performance as the wise old lady who befriends overweight housewife Evelyn (the wonderful Kathy Bates) and, through the story of two young girls Idgie and Ruth, inspires Evelyn to make sometimes drastic changes in her own life.
The story is told on many levels: there's the actual story of the relationship between Evelyn and Ninny (Tandy) in the present day together with Evelyn's impact on those around her as her personality steadily changes; then there's the flashbacks to the story of Idgie and Ruth set against the backdrop of the usual social turmoil of the American South.
Above all, the story is one of friendship and the wonderful richness that friends add to one's life. A touching and extremely watchable movie.
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply one of the best movies of the 90 s!,
By A Customer
I saw this movie the first time in 1992 on Pan & Scan Laserdisc and loved it since then. I was very happy to hear that Universal anounced a special edition in 1998 from their famous "signature collection" series on laserdisc. I immediately bought the new version and it has lots of extra's, is in widescreen and has extra footage not available on the original LD and VHS release. Now I bought it for the third time on DVD and I must admit that the picture quality is even better than the already excellent LD versions. I do find however, the sound quality on the LD better. About the movie itself...Do we have to mention more than Jessica Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy, To dance with a white dog) and Kathy Bates ( Dolores Claiborne, Misery ) ! Some of the best acting ever seen in film history. Also Great performances by Mary Louise Parker (boys on the side) and Mary Stuart Masterson (Immediate Family).
5.0 out of 5 stars TOWANDA!,
I've read Fannie Flagg's book which eventually became this movie. The book was very good and this video is even better. It brings to life this small sleepy town and its characters. The acting was fantastic.
Better yet is the opportunity to visit the small community where the film was made. That's right--go to Juliette, Georgia to see Smokey Lonesome's shack. See that fabulous barbeque pit where Frank Bennett became so tasty even though he was a dispicable man. See the headstone of Buddy Jrs arm. Tour Ruth & Idgy's home. Look at the spillway where Idgy fished and the railroad tracks that took Buddy's life and Buddy Jrs arm. BUT most importantly--enter The Whistlestop Cafe and sit down for an order of Fried Green Tomatoes. That's right--the cafe is there and open to the public. You'll never forget your visit to this little community. AND it will help even more to bring to life this wonderful film.
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Fried Green Tomatoes (Sous-titres français) by Jon Avnet (DVD - 2009)
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