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Lee Lynch, a disgruntled columnist from the "Don't even ask me what I thought about the film FRIED GREEN TOMATOES which demonstrated the most adept straddling of antithetical worlds I've ever seen.Yes, the lesbianism could have plucked at those queer little heartstrings, but my non-Gay acquaintances assure me that you didn't have to see it, wouldn't see it, if you didn't want to" (47).
The movie grossed $25.4 million by its second month of release, not had for a film that cost $11 million to produce (Fox).
Critics have praised FRIED GREEN TOMATOES' sepia colored depiction of life in the rural south, and surprisingly in a town that favors babes, bangs and blood, the film copped an award from the Writer's Guild for best screenplay based on material from another medium (Weinraub C21)., the film is a story within a story of Southern female friendship and love.
Not your typical blockbuster."a modest American film that can be enjoyed by adults and children, natives and foreigners, feminists and male chauvinists, Southerners and even Yankees who never so much as saw let alone ate, less than a rubicund tomato" (45).
Ironically, for someone who sees the world in terms of black and white, the reviewer left out two fairly conspicuous pairs — African Americans and whites, and straights and gays.
Maybe that's because rather than dealing with race and relationships honestly, the film attempts to appeal to whites' attitudes about blacks and to straight peoples' attitudes about same sex partnerships.
Obviously, she was only interested in correcting the negative stereotypes of whites, for the film carries out Hollywood's tradition of depicting blacks as good Negroes, loyal, devoted and harmless (Roffman and Simpson 15).It's not until she's grown and running the Cafe that he finally speaks.When Idgie is challenged by a Klan member for serving Blacks outside her restaurant, Big George utters his first words, "You gonna get yourself in a whole heap of trouble." We never learn how this threat affects him; we never learn how he feels about barbecuing all those ribs his friends and family can't even go inside to eat; his only concern is what will happen to Idgie.Ryan Murphy, of the Other critics referred to the two as "best friends" (Jacobs).When critics did wonder about the characters' sexuality, they tended to frame their musings with heterocentric language, like Amy Dawes, movie critic for "The film so ignores Idgie's attraction to Ruth that it would seem tepid without Ms. Thanks to her, Idgie's sullenness over Ruth's marriage and her subsequent defense of Ruth against a violent husband give the two women's friendship all the depth it needs" (C3).She risks her life to save Ruth's baby from the evil ex-husband, Frank Bennett, when he comes to kidnap the child.Then, in spite of being injured, she manages to kill him.You gon get yourself in a whole heap of trouble." One gets the feeling that either Big George suffers from echolalia, or he exists, as Ninny said, purely to watch over Idgie.Sipsey does her share of watching over this family too; in fact, she is the true heroine of this film.Sipsey's response to this same incident is to smile and say, "Grady won't sit next to a colored child, but he eats eggs that shoot out of a chicken's ass." As with Big George, we never know how Sipsey feels about frying all those eggs for someone she knows is racist.The film would have us believe she thinks it's funny.