Hannah's theme this week is favourite chick flick. I love lots of films. OK, my penchant for horror is strong, but that doesn't mean I don't also enjoy a good weepy! So my choice this week is "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe". It's not a fun-filled frothy chick flick, instead it is richly comic film with a poignant narrative that tells the tale of the richness of life and the sadness of departure.
This film tells the story of unfulfilled housewife Evelyn, played by the fabulous Cathy Bates, who meets an old lady Ninny Threadgood, played by Jessica Tandy. Ninny regales Evelyn with tales of her hometown Whistlestop from the 1920's. Evelyn's life takes on new meaning inspired by the wonderful backstory.
Ninny tells her a story about best friends Idgie and Ruth. Their lives are intertwined from a young age and peppered with tradegy, loss, domestic violence, racism, illness, but mostly with love and friendship. They run a cafe where they employ black staff and feed men that are down on their luck in the Great Depression. They end up on the wrong side of the law when Ruth's bullying ex-husband disappears. But the goodness of the women sees the townsfolk rallying around to protect them. The story spans three decades where we see more tragedy as Ruth becomes a victim of cancer. Their story culminates with the murder trial of Ruth's ex-husband and the pieces of the story tie together satisfyingly as we learn exactly what happened on the fateful night when he vanished.
The contrast of the rich backstory played out against the comedic exploits of Evelyn in her attempt to make something out of her unfulfilled life, makes this film a rollercoaster of emotions. I had cried twice within the first ten minutes of this film and had at least two more sobbing fits before the credits. It is tragic but heartwarming in equal measure.
I'd highly reccommend this film to anyone...but make sure you have tissues (and probably chocolates) at the ready. You will need them....but it is well worth it to immerse yourself in this beautifully woven piece of storytelling.