Set mostly in the picturesque back-country village of Whistle Stop, Ala., during the 1930s, this tale of two young-woman friends, Idgie (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Ruth (Mary-Louise Parker), is at once a portrait of small-town sisterhood and a Southern gothic murder mystery. Masterson and Parker give lively and accomplished performances. Yet compared with the recent Rambling Rose (which it sometimes resembles), Fried Green Tomatoes is pushy, didactic, and not very well directed. An extended framing device set in the present day, with Kathy Bates as a put-upon housewife who becomes the fierce, confident, new-and-improved ”Tawanda,” is the sort of ghastly idea that gives feminism a bad name. The movie left me wishing its sterling cast — including a radiant Jessica Tandy — had been better served. B-
Genre: Drama, Comedy; Starring: Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker, Jessica Tandy; Director: Jon Avnet; Author: Fannie Flagg; Runtime (in minutes): 130; MPAA Rating: PG-13; Distributor: Universal
Posted January 17 2015 — 11:46 AM EST
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