Movie Club: Fried Green Tomatoes, Directed by Jon Avnet
“Fried Green Tomatoes” is a movie that many women in the Sixty and Me community love. In fact, they voted it one of their favourite movies of all time. Somehow in the busy 1990’s, I managed to miss is. So catching up, 20 years later, was a fun journey down memory lane.
The movie is full of dynamic actresses and reminded me a lot of “Steel Magnolias.” It tells the story of a group of spirited “southern belles” living with traditions and stereotypes. Based on a book by Fannie Flagg, it tells the story of Ruth (Mary Louise Parker) and Idgie (Mary Stuart Masterson). It also shows the development of a friendship between Evelyn (Kathy Bates), a middle-aged housewife, and Ninny (Jessica Tandy) an older woman.
The story of a fun group of girlfriends trying to make sense of crazy lives, has a counterpoint with the murder of Ruth’s abusive husband and tangled rumors that follow.
I chose this film for the Sixty and Me Movie Club because of its focus on friendship and how women stand by each other during tough times. One underlying theme is Evelyn’s unhappy marriage which many women in the Community can relate to. It shows how her friendship with Ninny helps her get her confidence and self-respect back. “Fried Green Tomatoes,” like “Steel Magnolias,” reminds us of a simpler time, when women had time to make friendships, to share stories and embrace their differences.
It weaves a great picture of women across decades, in their 40s, 50s and 60s, trying to learn from each other. At its heart, the movie is about being willing to slow down and listen to and learn from girlfriends.
If you don’t already have a copy of “Fried Green Tomatoes,” you can get it on Amazon.
To kick things off, here are a few questions for discussion. Please add your thoughts and questions in the comments section below:
Idgie and Ruth’s friendship is a case of opposites attract. Do you have a friend who is your opposite?
Eva Bates is a woman you might call sexually liberated before her time. Do you agree?
How does this story explore the process of aging?
What is one piece of advice that Ninny gives to Evelyn that helps her grow?
I hope that you enjoy this book! Please share your thoughts below.