The film Fried Green Tomatoes released in 1991 is based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe written by Fannie Flagg. The novel was originally published in 1987. The film revolves around Evelyn, an unhappy, overweight, married Southern woman going through a rough patch with her family. Her son had grown up and had a life of his own. On the other hand, her husband was no longer interested in her. One day, while accompanying her husband at the waiting room of a nursing home, she comes across an energetic and outgoing 82 year old woman named Ninny Threadgoode.
Threadgoode tells Evelyn about a town named Whistle stop in Alabama which was now abandoned. She details the relationship between two women Imogen and Ruth who ran the Whistle stop Cafe in the great depression era. As the story of the two women progresses, Evelyn can’t help but be moved and influenced by the story of the women and the missing man named Frank Bennett. Not only does she find a true friend in Ninny but also finds the courage and assertiveness that she badly needs in her life. Ninny also helps in rebuilding Evelyn’s self-confidence and self esteem. The film in its own way teaches women to be independent.
Women will always find themselves in the same predicament and they must rise about their difficulties. The film focuses on finding one’s own identity and getting through a mid-life crisis. Drama, the issue of racism, comedy and murder all feature in this film. The film also hints at a lesbian relationship between Imogen and Ruth but never explicitly shows it. It is left up to audiences’ speculation. However, what plays the most important role in this film is true friendship. In essence, both set of women help each other in facing any and all challenges of life.
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