Episode #36: Fried Green Tomatoes
Listen to Episode 36 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.
SUMMARY - In Fried Green Tomatoes, while visiting relatives, Evelyn (played by Kathy Bates) befriends nursing home resident Ninny Threadgoode (played by Jessica Tandy). Ninny tells Evelyn the complicated story surrounding Idgie Threadgoode, her best friend Ruth, and a small town murder in the 1920s.
Screenplay by Carol Sobieski and Fannie Flagg, based on the novel by Fannie Flagg; Directed by Jon Avnet, and released in limited cities on December 27, 1991.
There was a lot to talk about this week. Many character arcs and multiple timelines discussed.
In part, we talked about how the awards people decided to focus on Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy despite the fact that the weight of the movie was on the backs of the two Mary's.
The cast is large and you shouldn't get used to seeing a lot of the actors on screen very long. Sometimes that's a good thing as Chris O'Donnell is not great in this early role.
A couple of the plot points, as described in the movie, didn't make a whole lot of sense but there was nothing that ruined the overall enjoyment.
Part of the issue is that the movie tries to cram a lot of information into a relatively short 2.5 hour film and balance the present day relationships with the stories from decades past.
It's great that the movie didn't try to draw parallels between them, but some of the subject matter is dark and the label of comedy doesn't truly start to fit until about the last half hour.
The flashbacks do center around a murder investigation, after all.
That doesn't mean that there isn't a love story hiding in here, but the emphasis is on the word "hiding" as the filmmakers purposely try to downplay the potential romantic relationship between the two women.
We did talk about their restaurant and how there was a lack of food throughout the movie, including the titular item.
The big debate of the episode was deciding if our narrator was also the lead character in the flashbacks she was telling. Nikki says no but Jon says yes. The ambiguity is likely intentional and made for a fun discussion.
We also sort of pause on the credits to talk about Cecily Tyson's career and accomplishments.
Awards Talk: Oscar Nominations for Supporting Actress Jessica Tandy, Adapted Screenplay. Golden Globe Nominations for Best Comedy or Musical, Best Actress Kathy Bates, Supporting Actress Tandy.
And the movie won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film (which it shared with "Frankie & Johnny")
TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE
This week we don't have any true crime segment to talk about so we jump right into music.
Here are your Billboard Top 5 Songs for the week of December 28, 1991
1. Black or White - Michael Jackson
2. It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday - Boyz II Men
3. All 4 Love - Color Me Badd
4. Set Adrift of Memory Bliss - P.M. Dawn
5. When A Man Loves A Woman - Michael Bolton
Moving onto TV, here's what you may have been watching at the end of the year
We like to get into lesser known shows and this time we talked about Pacific Station - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101162/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
Not exactly pop culture, but we do discuss the actual food fried green tomatoes as it relates to the movie thanks to this article
Lastly, we don't know if this is still in the works, but we found info about a possible reboot in the form of a TV show starring Reba McIntyre - https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/fried-green-tomatoes-series-reba-mcentire-norman-lear-nbc-1234803671/
RANKINGS & RATINGS
Nikki 1-5 star scale - 4 out of 5
Jon 0-4 star scale - 3 1/2 out of 4
Would you watch it again? - While we don't think we'll find any new clues to the ambiguous questions the movie presents, it would still be a great movie to revisit every once in a while. It's a really enjoyable, uplifting experience.
If you want to watch Fried Green Tomatoes, as of this recording in October 2021, it’s available on Showtime, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.
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