In the year 1987 book titled, “Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Shop Cafe” was published. It received positive reviews from critics and readers alike selling a good amount of copies. Four Years Later, a film adaptation starring Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary-Louise Parker & Mary Stuart Masterson (who went quiet since 1991) under the title “Fried Green Tomatoes.”
Fried Green Tomatoes was released in 1991. (same year Thelma And Louise came out) It received positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike. I’m addition to positive reactions, it made enough money at the box office. The film was later nominated for two Oscars including “Best Supporting Actress” (Jessica Tandy) & “Best Adapted Screenplay.” None of them won.
I’m gonna come clean. I’ve never seen Fried Green Tomatoes before, until my mom and I watched it together in response to the 30th anniversary of the film and gearing up American Horror Story’s 10th Season titled, “Double Feature” collaborating with Sarah Paulson, (my favorite actress of all time) Billie Lourd, (Carrie Fisher’s real life daughter) Evan Peters, Leslie Grossman, Finn Wittrock, Lily Rabe, Frances Conroy & Macaulay Culkin. As a fan of “American Horror Story,” I want to share my thoughts on Fried Green Tomatoes. One more thing, I never read the book.
Today’s review contains no SPOILERS. I’m giving some of you a chance to see this movie. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article. Keep in mind, this is a short review, because it’s not a complex non-linear (out of order) psychological drama worth a rewatch like “Babel,” “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind” or anything directed by my favorite filmmaker Christopher Nolan. So bear with me. Does it still hold up for 30 years? Well let’s get down to business.
Positive & Negative Aspects
Positive: The Main Cast such as Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary-Louise Parker & Mary Stuart Masterson all did a decent job for their respective performances.
Thomas Newman (The Shawshank Redemption, WALL-E, Skyfall, Spectre) orchestrated the music.
Cinematography never suffered from excessive Shaky Cam or Dutch Angles.
Chemistry between Idgie & Ruth serves as the main highlight. Their close friendship is a primary factor.
I’m gonna say this once. Idgie is adorable for a tomboy.
Character Development involving Kathy Bates’ character Evelyn. As Ninny tells her the story about Idgie & Ruth’s close friendship during The Great Depression. Evelyn learns to stand up for herself in front of her husband and her self-esteem becomes stable.
Costume Designs reflects the time period of The 30s.
Set Pieces were manually built by set decorators.
The Tone manages to balance between seriousness and comedy.
Chris O’Donnell (Scent Of A Woman, Batman Forever, NCIS: Los Angeles) makes an appearance as Idgie’s older brother.
Primary Themes for the film are Friendship, Nostalgia, Aging & Food. Each one is handled maturely.
My favorite line delivered by Evelyn is, “Face it girls, I’m old and I have insurance!” I have to give it Bonus Points for making me laugh so hard.
Without giving anything away, the final scene is up to the viewer to interpret one character who’s actually the identity of either Idgie or Ruth. It’s fine choosing your own path like the ambiguous endings from “Lost In Translation,” “Inception,” “Black Swan” & “Joker.” Heck, even multiple endings from “Fallout: New Vegas” & “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.”
Negative: Product Placement featuring brands such as Snickers, Twix, Budweiser, 7-Up, Pepsi, & Crackerjacks. There maybe more I missed.
If you have a sensitive side, you’re gonna cry. I on the other hand didn’t over a sad moment. Last time a movie made me cry was “Avengers: Endgame.” Movies or shows are difficult for a guy like me when it comes to crying. I also cried watching “Logan,” “Interstellar,” Boys Don’t Cry” & last but not least “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hollows.”
The Final Verdict: A-
Fried Green Tomatoes is a surprisingly good movie worth your spare time. At first, I thought it was gonna be just a snorefest. Turns out the movie managed to keep me invested without yawning. If you’re a fan of American Horror Story like me, I highly recommend watching Fried Green Tomatoes.