mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE CORNER OF NOSTALGIA AND ANALYSIS

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Monday, 2.27.06: Fried Green Tomatoes

Last week I started summarizing my thoughts about how awful women can be to one another.

Me and my sisters, 2002But then on Saturday night we watched "Fried Green Tomatoes" (1991). I had resisted it for years because I find myself avoiding "chick flicks" and because I heard that it wasn't as good as the book. But is any movie better than a great novel?

The movie tells two stories. One relates the chance friendship between Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates) and Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy). Ninny is old and lacking for visitors in the nursing home. Evelyn gobbles candy bars and struggles to relight the flame with her self-absorbed husband. Over many visits, Ninny tells a story to Evelyn that gives Evelyn the courage to take charge of her life. The story she tells is about Idgie (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Ruth (Mary-Louise Parker). Idgie is a tomboy who rescues Ruth from an abusive marriage and they open up the Whistle Stop Cafe together. It becomes the hub of a small interdependent and loyal community.

The theme is about the power of story-telling. Interesting.

We need our women friends because we have so much in common, from PMS to childbearing choices to menopause to having our men disappear on us.

But what is it we do with one another? When you think about it, we tell stories. Maybe it's a nasty piece of gossip. Maybe it's griping about our partner. Maybe its exchanging the latest outrage at work. Maybe it's revealing part of our histories that gives another woman a bit of insight or guidance.

 

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