Given that one of the two main plots in the book was about a lesbian couple, I was very curious about how a mainstream movie — directed by Risky Business producer Jon Avnet, released by Universal — would handle it.
I was years away from being an entertainment journalist, so I didn’t understand much about the business of Hollywood.
Back in late 1991 and early 1992, AIDS was the sole political issue on LGBT activists’ minds — the idea of same-sex marriage felt like an impossibility. It was a sleeper hit, playing in theaters from Dec. It went on to make more than $82 million domestically (that’s more than $181 million adjusted for ticket price inflation).
AIDS was an international catastrophe, the economy was in recession — things were dark. Tandy and Bates had both just won Oscars in consecutive years (for Driving Miss Daisy and Misery, respectively), and their unlikely movie stardom fueled Fried Green Tomatoes’ larger girl-power message.
But I was an expert in shitty portrayals of lesbians in pop culture. In the present, Evelyn Couch, a depressed Alabama housewife played by Kathy Bates, becomes friends with the vibrant, eightysomething Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy).
Essay On The Movie Fried Green Tomatoes
They meet during Evelyn’s visits to her husband’s hostile aunt at the assisted living facility where Ninny lives (temporarily, Ninny tells Evelyn).Ruth has the baby — whom they name Buddy — and then they open the café.Until, uh, Idgie is charged with Frank’s murder (she didn’t do it), and Ruth dies of cancer years later, it’s pretty idyllic.But she soon becomes enthralled, and then she becomes inspired — and changes her life.The story Ninny tells Evelyn is about Depression-era Whistle Stop.Whenever I talk to younger queer people about how little LGBT representation there was in movies and on TV when I was a closeted teenager in the ’80s, I end up yelling. What did exist for us either illustrated self-hatred (Personal Best, 1982), or was bowdlerized (The Color Purple, 1985), or existed entirely in subtext.I yell because I want them to understand what it was like, and I yell because I get mad all over again. To offer one pathetic example, I remember rushing to see the 1987 thriller Black Widow because I’d heard that the characters played by Debra Winger and Theresa Russell had a sexualized (and totally unfulfilled) dynamic.Ninny starts talking to Evelyn about her memories of Whistle Stop, Alabama — a smidge of a town that existed only because the trains stopped there.At first, Evelyn is a reluctant audience, indulging Ninny only out of the Southern politeness that generally imprisons her.There, Idgie Threadgoode (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Ruth Jamison (Mary-Louise Parker), who was Idgie’s eventual…well, this is the issue, really, because the movie is hazy on the point.But I am not hazy on it, so let’s call Ruth what she is — Idgie’s eventual wife.