Fried green tomatoes, anyone? I know I can’t be the only one who was hungry after seeing Kathy Bates munch into some good southern fried cookin’.
“Fried Green Tomatoes” didn’t just make me physically hungry, but mentally hungry to learn what it must have been like to live in a time of faith, manners and hospitality. It was a time before technology swept over our collective concern for our fellow man’s well-being. Well, if you are a white man, that is.
There are some things about a simpler time in the American South that make me long that I was born into another era. But when I saw “Fried Green Tomatoes,” I was reminded of the less-savory implications of living in the Deep South in the 1920s and ‘30s.
“Fried Green Tomatoes” is set in the 90s when it was filmed, but nearly the entirety of the movie is based on the story of Idgie Threadgood’s early 20th century life (Mary Stuart Masterson, “Some Kind of Wonderful”) through the eyes of nursing-homebound Ninny Threadgood (Jessica Tandy, “Driving Miss Daisy”).
The story starts when Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates, “Misery”) tries to visit her nasty aunt-in-law in the nursing home and is rejected; upon, this, she meets Ninny who tells the story of rebellious Idgie.
Ninny teaches Evelyn some lessons to help her take back control of her own life through the lessons that Idgie had to learn growing up in a segregated, patriarchal time and place in history.
It was okay for a man to treat his wife like his property, and even more acceptable to treat African Americans like they were still property in a time when the Klu Klux Klan was at its height.
“Fried Green Tomatoes” is definitely a visual ballad that lasts through a good chunk of history. It features scenes both heartbreaking and heartwarming, and leaves the viewer with implications that are not made blatantly clear, such as the loving relationship between Idgie and Ruth Jamison (Mary Louise-Parker, TV’s “Weeds”).
“Fried Green Tomatoes” is rated PG-13 for sex/nudity, violence/gore, profanity and alcohol/drugs/smoking.
High Country Lifelong Learners host a viewing of “Fried Green Tomatoes” at the Watauga County Public Library on March 14 from 2 to 4:30 p.m.