BY: LAURA BETH PETERS
In celebration of the film Fried Green Tomatoes turning 30 this year, FATHOM EVENTS will be bringing it back to theaters for a limited run in May!
This got me thinking, why do I love this film so much? I absolutely love southern culture, hello, I’ve spent every week now for 2 1/2 years podcasting on the subject, by why FGT? There are lots of great southern stories out there in television, film and novels, but this one is special to me for the following reasons:
1) It’s multi-generational. The whole story is being told through the eyes of an elderly lady recalling wild stories of the past which she is sharing with a visiting, new friend in her nursing home. A much younger friend. Definitely reminds me that I wish I had more time to sit with a grandmother or grandfather.
2) The cafe. Who doesn’t love a place where everybody knows your name? The Whistle Stop Cafe is the hub of the small town and did you know that the cafe built for the film in Juliette, GA is one that you can visit today? I visited it in the late ‘90s and it was epic. It’s closed right now for water repairs, but only temporarily. https://thewhistlestopcafe.com
3) Tawanda. Being that my parked car has been hit 2 times in the last month in the parking lot of my local Kroger grocery store reminds me of this hilarious scene where Evelyn (Kathy Bates) just finally loses her mind. No, I was not a bratty know-it-all that stole a parking space only to be repaid in such a way. But I sure wish I could have let each one know that a note would have been appreciated! Who hasn’t wanted to ‘tawanda’ at some point in life!?
4) Ruth. I love a good ‘steel magnolia’ character and Ruth certainly fits the bill. She embodies femininity but she has to show some serious steel to leave Frank Bennett. As an aside, I met a Frank Bennett this year, and could not get past his name. Movies are powerful!
5) Southern culture. The scenery is beautiful from creek beds to trains and slamming screen doors. The food looks delicious, hello, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, and the people seem oh so genuine. So much nostalgia!
6) Writing. Fannie Flagg can WRITE! Did you know she not only wrote the bestselling book but she wrote the screenplay too? My favorite line of any movie is in this film. In regards to Ruth coming to the end of her life, Sipsey (Cicely Tyson) says, “Miss Ruth is a lady, and a lady always knows when to leave.”
7) Idgie Threadgoode. I read that the stunt actor for the bee charming scene backed out at the last minute while shooting. So Mary Stuart Masterson who played Idgie, went ahead and did the scene herself! Wow. Idgie was a wild character. Unbelievable at times, but I also see a lot of my aunt Rita in Idgie. I wish I’d had more time with her too.
8) Fannie Flagg. She’s southern to the bone. I had the opportunity to interview Fannie last year on my birthday! My sister brought fried green tomatoes with a lit candle to our interview. It was special. Fannie is incredible at observing how simple people relate to one another and then retelling it in a way that’s entertaining and inspiring. I still can’t believe Fannie wrote a sequel 30 years after the original FGT! She’s so optimistic to see the good in people. You can listen to our whole conversation HERE.
For tickets to see Fried Green Tomatoes in theaters nationwide May 9, 11, or 12th, visit: https://www.fathomevents.com/events/Fried-Green-Tomatoes-30th-Anniversary-presented-by-TCM-(2021)