In FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, Evelyn Couch can’t pry her husband from the TV. While visiting a nursing home, she listens to Ninny Threadgoode’s tales about life 60 years ago with Idgie Threadgoode and her friend, Ruth Jamison. In flashbacks, we find that Idgie “liberates” Ruth into the exciting world of drinking, gambling, fighting, and stealing. When Ruth marries a wife-beating racist, Idgie threatens death to the husband unless he leaves. The women open a cafe, and the husband returns. He threatens everyone and disappears. When Ruth dies, we learn that her husband was killed by a black employee. To dispose of the body, Idgie mixed it into the cafe’s barbecue sauce. (This cannibalism is treated as a clever joke.) In the end, Evelyn brings Ninny Threadgoode (really Idgie) home with her.
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES is a tacky effort to dress up worn out feminist cliches in ruffled sleeves and southern drawls. According to the film, to be liberated means to drink, gamble, fight, get a job, and tell men where to get off, or cannibalize them if they don’t. The Church is mocked, and the local preacher’s only redeeming act is lying at Idgie’s trial in order to save her.
(LL, VV, A/D, Ab, Ho, M, B) 4 obscenities, 8 profanities; one boy run over by a train, another boy's arm cut off by train, murder, & three beatings, including wife abuse; smoking, drinking and gambling portrayed as liberating; negative stereotype of minister and church in general; lying shown as beneficial; hints of lesbianism & radical feminism; and, use of deceased villain's remains in a barbecue sauce is treated as humorous. However, some positive references to God.