The Blindspot Series: Fried Green Tomatoes
Now is probably the time to admit that I’m not very good at following lists or planning when it comes to film. In fact? I’m terrible at it. I rarely buy all my tickets ahead of time at TIFF because I never know what whim I’m going to have on a specific day and with cinema it really comes down to what mood you’re in. That being said, this month has been tough. My grandfather who has been hospitalized since just after Christmas passed away and I was really in no mood to ironically enjoy Eyes Wide Shut. I needed something uplifting, something emotionally loaded but something heartwarming at the same time. I trusted that Netflix would help me find the right film and it totally did, another film that should absolutely be on my Blindspot list, Fried Green Tomatoes.
Q: Why Fried Green Tomatoes?
A: I’m in lesbians with you.
For somebody who prides herself on watching all those ambiguous girl-power films with lesbian undertones like Thelma and Louise or Heavenly Creatures, somehow this film had managed to escape me. Hipster-looking lesbian protagonists from the Great Depression? I’m sorry, sign me right up.
A few notes.
I dub this the “Parkdale Hipster Ensemble” but Mary Stuart Masterson’s wardrobe is a contemporary dream. She out Annie Hall’s Annie Hall and wears some of the best androgynous outfits I’ve seen in cinema, ever. My favourite being the first one she wears to return home with some honey. But she continues along this theme all throughout the movie. I pretty much want to own all of her outfits. Also? The film has a slight food-porn element. There are a few scenes that seem like they are shot by an entirely different camera crew as they pan over sumptuous barbecue, a plate of desserts or, you guessed it, fried green tomatoes. This is a bit tongue-in-cheek due to the later reveal (I’ll never look at barbecue the same again) but it’s still an interesting shift in certain scenes.
A strong “let your freak flag fly” film, Fried Green Tomatoes follows the exploits of tomboy-turned-rebel Idgie and her best friend Ruth. The two are entwined together in a tragedy, when Idgie’s brother Buddy (a young Chris O’Donnell!) is hit by a train chasing after Ruth’s hat. Ruth leaves town and Idgie leaves her senses, setting up shop by the river. But as the years pass, Ruth is asked to talk some sense into the morose girl, to ask her to come back home. Instead? Ruth discovers that Idgie can definitely take care of herself and finds herself drawn to the compassionate oddball she’s grown up to be. While definitely not as overt as the book makes it out to see, the two are definitely in love. They struggle with supporting themselves and defining their relationship to friends and foes, making a claim in the world.
This is really where the spoiler alert comes in handy. Ruth gets sick and dies. Yup, for no discernible reason she gets sick and she dies. In a completely different way that my grandfather passed, but in the same way that one moment she’s there, the next she’s gone. There’s grief and there’s memory, and what’s interesting about this film is that the entire story of Ruth and Idgie is a tale retold by Idgie herself. She’s reliving her moments to a new friend she meets at a retirement home. Of course she keeps her identity hidden until the last scene but it’s clear after some time that she’s heartily recalling past moments. And that is what I took away from this film. Those who are gone, are never really gone, as long as we’re still remembering all the crazy moments we had.
This was the most popular part of my last Blindspot post, Die Hard, but since this was a more dramatic film, only a few key things were tweeted.
Feb #BlindSpot has been swapped out to Fried Green Tomatoes! So many good lines! “Are you a politician or does lying run in your family?”
Mary-Stuart Masterson looks like a Parkdale hipster who would have paramours lining the streets for days, she even has a mason jar!
Going through the “Change” sounds like an X-Men mutation. “You need to get some hormones and then a job!” Oh #oldladywisdom
“Face it girls, I’m older and I have more insurance.” #friedgreentomators is the beeeest.
Oh my god, the secret’s in the sauce. Oh my god. #friedgreentomators
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Previously on The Blindspot
Die Hard with boredom