The Book Venue Book Venue Forums

Category: Book Reviews

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes, by Fannie Flagg, was a good book about a small Southern town. The book took place between 1820 and 1960.

I really liked this book. I liked all of the characters. Parts of the book were funny, and parts were sad There were even some surprises throughout the book. The only criticism I have is that there were several time periods going at once, and several different narrators, which made it confusing at times.

Submitted by Coralie, posted on Friday July 04, @06:08AM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I actually liked the time period flashes and the way the book had the news updates of the town. I was wondering about what you thought of Ninny being Idgie as one in the same.....I don't really think so but I saw the movie after I read it and it does lead you down that path......?

by kris on Friday July 04, @12:24PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

No, I don't think so either. Ninny and Mrs Threadegoode were the same person. Ninny is the old lady in the nursing home that befriends Evelyn. Then Ninny/Mrs Threadegoode dies and when Evelyn goes to visit her grave, she finds everyone else's grave, including Ruth's. She finds fresh flowers on Ruth's grave. This would make you think that Idgie is still alive. Then the author flashes to a roadside stand run by a very old woman in overalls who sells honey. This is Idgie. confuse things a little, at the very end of the book, I found out that Idgie was the person who was throwing stuff off the train. Throughout the whole book, I thought it was Grady. Usually I can't remember the names of characters in the books I read, but I remember these names.
Was the movie any good, other than being confusing about Idgie and Ninny?

by Coralie on Monday July 07, @02:02PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

The movie was really good about consealing certain things too but you do get to see Idgie and Ruth get on the train at night and throw food off. I don't want to wreck the movie for you but Evelyn and Ninny Threadgoode are sitting at whistle stop only Ninnys house is gone and she has no where to go ...Evelyn comes and when they are walking away they see Ruth's grave and there is a jar of honey sitting on it and Evelyn looks at Ninny kind of funny and I think she asks if Idgie is still alive and Ninny says she believes so. Actually I kind of like that they both leave you guessing in different directions.

I really preferred the book but the movie was well done! I think you should see it and see what you think. Grady is the sheriff right? He was a bit confusing in the movie as you could tell he had a thing for Idgie but then he was involved in the KKK things too. I was never sure in either the book or the movie if he intended to get Idgie to marry him if she would leave the black people alone? I think that is what he was up too.

Well good read and good movie too!

by kris on Thursday July 10, @12:03PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

In the book, Grady was married to a woman named Gladys. In the movie, however, I think that they were trying to establish a relationship between he and Idgie.

by LeeLee on Wednesday December 17, @01:30PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I just re-watched the movie (one of my favorites) and would like to clarify that, true to the book, Grady is married to Glays in the movie, as well.

Although he spends the first part of the movie trying to win Idgie over, I guess he eventually gives up. Just before the KKK attacks the cafe, Idgie is sitting inside asking Grady how Gladys feels about him staying out to all hours gambling. I don't think we ever see her, but she does exist.

As for Idgie and Ninny being the same person, that is deffinitely alluded to in the movie and I didn't like it. I know the author was active in the production and I'm really surprised she allowed that. As mentioned previously, Idgie never grows out of her penchant for boys clothes and is mistaken for an old man in her overalls selling honey.

I think implying that she grows into Ninny is destructive to her character and confusing to the audience. When you think about it, how could Mrs. Threadgoode, wife of Cleo Threadgoode, have been Idgie, sister of Cleo and Buddy Threadgoode in her youth?

Just my two cents.

by ArcticGringo on Sunday December 21, @12:46PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

Well, it IS the deep south ;)

I have never read the book, but I like the movie ;)

by Heather on Wednesday July 21, @09:56PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I've not read the book,only seen the movie, and I was wondering if I was the only one that felt that a homosexual relationship between Idgie and Ruth was alluded to...and is Ninny Threadgoode Idgie in the book?

by Ayanna on Sunday November 21, @02:26PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I have only a month ago discovered the joys of the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, and immediately fell in love. Upon viewing the film, I went out and bought the book and read it in two days. I have since watched the movie four more times in a few weeks. In terms of Idgie being Ninny, the movie does seem to allude to it, however the book makes it clear that they are two separate people, atleast in my opinion. And about the relationship between Idgie and Ruth, I think that you could interpret the relationship in any way you want. I can definitely feel the homosexual vibes some might pick up on, however I do not feel that Idgie and Ruth were lovers. I believe that two women can love each other and be in love without being lovers. To me, for there to be a homosexual relationship, there would have to be a physical intimacy which was never spoken of in the book nor alluded to in the movie, in my opinion.

by SEC on Monday November 29, @11:14PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I like the fact that they allude that Ninny and Idgie are the same person -- it leaves a puzzle for us to figure out and talk about.. is she or isn't she?

About being Mrs. Cleo Threadgood -- I always thought that in the movie it could have been deception on her part. Idgie liked to play games and take on different identities (Towanda) to represent different feelings, and perhaps Ninny was just a new identity (in the movie).

Not that I really believe that Ninny is Idgie -- but it's just fun to play with the possibility.

by Susen on Sunday March 27, @12:43PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

If you watch closely in the movie, you can see Fannie Flagg as the womanhood teacher in the present. It's only a brief appearance, but one none-the-less. So I guess you could assume that the direction and thought process in the movie is directly from Flagg and her book herself. I think it is up to the viewer to make a decision, and it's not probable, with help from the author, that the movie would be incorrect in comparison to the book.
What I love most about Flagg, is that in all of her books, she does a wonderful job of interrelating all of the characters and carrying their same story through out her collection (except for "A Redbird Christmas"). Her developement and story line seem to be flawless and as I read, the imagry makes me feel as though I have actually been to those places at all those times. Every character is my neighbor, and every character;s epiphany was also my own. If you have time check out "Welcome to the World Baby Girl!" I'd have to say it's my favorite of all.

by Kelly on Wednesday April 20, @09:09PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

To those that state "WELL IT IS THE DEEP SOUTH". Not sure of the implication. It was an incomplete statement.

This is a well written book with a great movie that followed.

by C Martines on Sunday March 12, @04:18PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

It is definite in the movie, to me at least, that it is being alluded to that Ninny is Idgie. However, if you remember, Ninny says that people will stay alive as long as you remember them - so it is possible that she leaves the honey from the bee charmer in order to have Idgie remembered, and therefore live forever. She says that the most important thing is friends, and that her friends will live forever as long as the Kathy Bates character remembers them. I need to read the book, since I have not done that, and the book is almost always better than the movie. I also picked up that while not lesbian lovers, Idgie and Ruth were a couple as much as any couple ever, due to their love for each other, and their devotion, and their commitment - and so, as far as I am concerned, they win over any physical commitment that anyone else can lay a claim to.

by Judy on Sunday June 04, @03:45PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I don't intend to be confrontational but there was never a doubt in my mind that Ruth and Idgie were lovers and that the author intended them to be seen as such. It is strongly implied that Idgie had a sexual relationship with another woman whose name I don't recall but who was once close to Buddy. There are several instances in the book were Ruth and Idgie's relationship is fairly cleary defined. I don't have my copy of the book on hand or I would cite the chapters and pages. It is a wonderful book for many reasons, not just for their relationship, but that relationship does exist and was ignored enough in the movie.

by Christie on Tuesday June 06, @02:38PM

Idgie is NOT Ninny. Ruth & Idgie were lovers. Deal

First of all, the original script-writer wanted to make Idgie and Ninny the same person, but Fannie Flagg vetoed that and re-wrote the script to contradict his changes to her story. Ninny says very clearly that she married Idgie's brother, and that line was added for a reason (it's true to the book, and it removes the question of her being Idgie.) -- There's nothing in the movie that remains to make any sane, observant person think Ninny is Idgie, except that she happens to be in the cemetery where there's some honey at Ruth's grave. When would frail old grieving Ninny have gotten this honey, and where did she get the jar? HER HOUSE IS GONE. There's also no moment where Ninny acts ANYTHING like Idgie. Not once.

Next, the implication in the book AND movie is that Ruth and Idgie are IN LOVE, in the romantic sense. If you can't see this in the way they look at each other, the way they touch each other, the way that Idgie assumes the butch role and Ruth assumes the ladylike role, then you're in serious denial. Idgie is, for all intents and purposes, Stump's father figure. Idgie NEVER accepts the advances of any male suitors. She's always in male clothes. She's established EARLY ON as being UNHAPPY in girl's clothes. Best friends do not caress each other. Besides, the director himself said in the commentary that the food fight was symbolic lovemaking. And how could you even deny that Idgie presents the honey to Ruth, and Ruth quite metaphorically dips her fingers in Idgie's honeypot?!?!

I understand some people want and NEED this to be a story about platonic, straight friends for it to fit within their world view, but no amount of rationalizing changes the intention of the author, director, and actors. This is a story about two women who are IN LOVE. Not just BFFs. If you need a platonic best friends movie, I suggest "Beaches".

You can pretend all you want, or "interpret" it your way, but it really boils down to denial of something that is just as beautiful, but not nearly as well-accepted.

by WKW on Saturday August 11, @10:14PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

Well put!! I completely agree with your statement about Ruth and Idgie being lovers. It was very much glossed over in the movie but in the book it is quite clear that they are lovers. I had watched the movie when I was quite young with my mother (it is her favorite) and I watched it for the first time in about 12 years a few nights ago and just finished the book today. My mother was in complete denial when I told her. She just could not accept that they were lesbians! Personally I think it makes the story line even more dynamic than it already is and gives a small look into the lesbian life. It could have been approached more as a gay relationship in the movie, but I understand that many people would have turned their backs on an excellent film and the makers did what they had to do to remain true to the story without stepping on too many toes. To those who choose to remain naive to the fact that ruth and idgie are lovers, please understand the beauty and intention behind the story. If you are openminded it is an even more remarkable story that is told!

by Morgan on Friday May 23, @10:41PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I haven't read the book or watched the movie in ages. I'm not really sure but I think I recall a comment at the beginning of the movie saying Iggy was adopted by the Threadgood family. If that's correct it would explain alot. As for the deep-south inbreeding comment: Go home yankees, please.

by rebel on Monday July 14, @09:32PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

The book is VERY clear that Ruth and Idgie were romantic partners -for example, calling little Buddy "Ruth and Idgie's child". (BTW the natural depiction of lesbian lovers is characteristic of Flagg's novels). In the movie, this relationship is underplayed, I suppose in a move to avoid controversy.

The book is also VERY clear that Ninny and Idgie are two separate people. I don't know why the scriptwriters changed the ending to blur this distinction. In the movie, Ninny seems to suggest that she MIGHT Be Idgie, perhaps because she thinks this is what Evelyn wants to believe.

Other than the "Is Ninny Idgie?" confusion, the movie is true to the spirit of the novel, even considering other more minor discrepancies
(including changes in the time sequence; for example, in the the book, the trial happens AFTER Ruth has been dead for quite a while).

by Bek on Sunday July 20, @07:14PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I haven't read the book yet, but I will tell you that the movie implies at the end that Idgie and Ninny are the same person. Some have said that Ninny doesn't act like Idgie. Well, think about what Ruth says to Idgie before she dies. She tells her to settle down and get married if she can find anybody that can beat her at poker. So, if we want to believe that Ninny is Idgie, we might say she is doing what Ruth wanted her to do. Didn't she usually do what Ruth really wanted? Also, if you notice, Ninny is wearing funky colored socks and high top converse tennis shoes. With this, you would think she was keeping true a part of Idgie. Also, when she lets the student hair stylist dye her hair purple, that would be a daring thing that Idgie would do, since she was always wild and trying new things. As far as Idgie and Ruth being lovers, well you would just have to be some uptight straight person to think that the movie did not allude to the subtle hints of lesbianism between those two. The kiss at the lake, and the way Idgie looked at Ruth when she kissed her. The honey scene. The food fight. The way Idgie didn't want to go to Ruth's wedding but watched from a distance. When they were in the cafe and Idgie tells Ruth that she doesn't want her to go, and that she is as settled as she ever wants to be. When Ruth is dying and she says there is so many things I want to say to you. It is all there in little hints. That is what makes the movie so good. You don't have to have things thrown into your face to know they are present.
Back to Ninny being Idgie, in the movie it says that Ninny was married to Cleo Threadgood which leaves us to believe that she and Idgie are two separate people. However, in her room you will see a picture of Ruth on her nightstand. You do not see a picture of Cleo her husband anywhere. In my opinion, the movie will suggest that Ninny is Idgie telling of a time when she herself was a different person, living in a different era. Idgie, would have then took on the persona of Ninny and changed her identity to tell the story the way that Evelyn could understand it without asking too many personal questions of Idgie. Thus, telling the story as an observer rather than a participant. This I find evident since she never mentions how she comes to know about all the personal details of Ruth and Idgie. She never once says, I was there, I saw them do this or that. Nor does the movie show Ninny in any of the scenes as it does everyone else. You could say she was told all those things, but she doesn't say in the movie this is what was told to me by Idgie or Ruth. The only time she mentions anything being told to her was about how Sepsie killed Frank Bennett. The movie is great, it is my all time favorite. I will read the book very soon. I just want to add to the person who made the remark about it being "the deep south", well, I am from the deep south. Never have I ever heard of anyone marrying their brother or their sister. People of the south have very rich heritages, and have a lot to be proud of. There is good and bad in every culture. I am proud of my southern roots. If you don't understand the love of simple pleasures of smelling peach blossoms or honeysuckle vines. The taste of pecan pie, bbq, and fried green tomatoes. A stroll down the red clay dirt roads after a summer rain. The friendly howdys from neighbors, then yes, you are a yankee to be pittied.

by Debra Doyle on Sunday December 28, @07:50PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I am watching the film now, Evelyn and Mrs Threadgood are standing at the grave side at the end of the film with the honey pot. Evelyn has just stated as they discover the honey she looks over to Mrs T and says "Idgy, Idgy is alive" Mrs T looks at her and states yes she is still wandering around out there" Evlyn states Maybe we will see her today to which Mrs T replies "Maybe" they walk off both reassured they both know who they and what they are talking about. It is obvious Mrs T/Ninny is Idgy watch the film again. It's also obvious that Idgy has a romantic intention towards Ruth and Ruth does love Idgy but nothing suggest it is romantic she states time and time again that if she wasnt around then Idgy could move on, also there is nothing to suggest that they were lovers and involved in the phisical sence. Putting your hand in a jar of honey is not sexual I soppose it can be if you need it to be (this was suggusted ealier)In anycase to suggust that the physical act of sex had taken place in the movie is just mad because the film does not suggust this. Debbie does De De might be a better film for you to watch.

by Martin on Sunday March 01, @07:12PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I am watching the film now, Evelyn and Mrs Threadgood are standing at the grave side at the end of the film with the honey pot. Evelyn has just stated as they discover the honey she looks over to Mrs T and says "Idgy, Idgy is alive" Mrs T looks at her and states yes she is still wandering around out there" Evlyn states Maybe we will see her today to which Mrs T replies "Maybe" they walk off both reassured they both know who they and what they are talking about. It is obvious Mrs T/Ninny is Idgy watch the film again. It's also obvious that Idgy has a romantic intention towards Ruth and Ruth does love Idgy but nothing suggest it is romantic she states time and time again that if she wasnt around then Idgy could move on, also there is nothing to suggest that they were lovers and involved in the phisical sence. Putting your hand in a jar of honey is not sexual I soppose it can be if you need it to be (this was suggusted ealier)In anycase to suggust that the physical act of sex had taken place in the movie is just mad because the film does not suggust this. Debbie does De De might be a better film for you to watch.

by Martin on Sunday March 01, @07:12PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I can spell, it's 3am!!!

by Martin on Sunday March 01, @07:18PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

Watch the movie carefully. There is a woman, she always wears a hat, she looks like a flapper. She's the one that says Ruth is a grown woman and knows what she's doing after she married Frank. She was at the base ball game. She was the one that ushered Ruth into the river club and she was there when Buddy Jr. was born. I think she may be Ninny....the pieces would fit. Ninny said that she married one of the Threadgood boys and had a crush on Buddy. That wouldn't fit if Ninny was Idgy.

by Jenny Rowland on Saturday June 06, @07:04AM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

the woman in the hat mentioned above is eva bates...basically the town bicycle..everyone has had a ride. Though she is considered the town slut, she was devoted to buddy threadgoode. Idgie has a relationship with eva as well, turning to her for comfort.

idgie and ruth have a relationship like any married couple. buddy jr is clearly referred to as "ruth and idgie's child" and they both profess their love for each other, although ruth realizes it is not a "normal" relationship and still urges idgie to "find a fella". idgie says that she's "as settled as she ever hopes to be". I think idgie was born a homosexual, and ruth was just looking for (and found) someone to love her. i don't think either of them cared what people thought of them, as long as they had love for each other. i don't blame ruth, iwouldnt rust men after frank bennet either

i don't believe idgie is ninny. throughout the book, idgie talks about ninny who visits the cafe with her son albert. she has conversations with her in the book. The movie alludes to the fact that idgie is ninny because she keeps a picture of ruth on her nightstand, and because she allegedly leaves a jar of honey on ruths grave, though i think this is done just to add an element of drama and to make us question the idgie/ninny conundrum.

although...idgie has been known to tell stories and to invent multiple personalities.

but she never had a conversation with towanda like she did with ninny and albert, so maybe they clearly are seperate. though we could go on and on. what we need is for fannie flagg to post a threadgoode family tree...hahahahaha!

i've read the book literally almost 200 times and seen the movie about half as much. it's my favorite of all time and never gets old. i like how the movie is pretty much word for word from the book. and everything in the movie is just how i pictured it would be from the book. the only thing missing is the backstory of the "black" side of town...but then again, you can't fit it ALL into the movie, it would be 4 hours long, and the parts left out were not essential to the movie's story, though they added a lot of flavor to the book. If anyone has only seen the movie, I suggest reading the book...and vice versa!!!!!

by Amanda on Thursday June 11, @07:42AM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

oh but hey, i just thought of something. if idgie and ninny were seperate people, why would ninny have just a picture of ruth on her nightstand. wouldnt se have her most prized possesion, a picture of cleo with albert sitting on the half moon that was taken when he took him up to the mayo clinic?

things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmmm

by Amanda on Thursday June 11, @07:45AM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I read everyone's posts about Ninny being Idgie and there was a lot of back and forth on it, but one thing no one mentioned is that in the movie, while in the nursing home, she's telling Evelyn about a baby she had that the doctors told her to get rid of (or something to that effect) and she said she had him until he was 30 and then he passed away. Sooooo, where does that fit into the Ninny vs. Idgie thing?? I was thinking Idgie and Ninny were one in the same, but things just aren't adding up. Especially after reading the posts and other things mentioned. Gotta love the confusion the movie brought, eh?! :) I love it, though!

by Alicia on Thursday September 24, @07:49PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

A: Idgie and Ruth were lovers. In the book it is said, perfectly clearly. They raised a son together, Idgie was expected to care for Ruth and the baby as many would say a husband would be expected to. When Ruth returns to Whistle Stop after leaving her abusive husband, she tells Idgie's parents that she's sorry she left for years ago, she should have never left her, and she'll never hurt her again. Idgie later tells their son that Ruth is one of the bravest people she ever met, alluding to the reason being that she left her husband to come back and be with her. The film tones down the lesbian part because in 1991 it wasn't viewed as acceptable as it may be today. Director Avnet has said that the food fight scene in the movie served as a metaphorical love making scene, since no such actual scene could be shown. B: Idgie is not Ninny, and even in the film, I don't believe they allude to it. The knowing look that Evelyn gives Ninny is acknowledgment that Idgie is still alive, still in Whistle Stop somewhere, not that Ninny is Idgie. If they were the same person, Ninny would not have had a crush on Buddy, would not have married Cleo (Idgie's brother) and would not have had a son named Albert.

by Jaime on Saturday December 19, @08:12PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

There's something you've all missed. At the beggining of the movie, Ninny says that the wedding took place around the time when WWI ended; this would be 1918. At this time Idgi is 10 years old at most. Therefore, she couldn't have been 82 in 1980, but 72.

by Eva on Sunday March 21, @08:25PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

My friend and i have been discussing ALL of these things everyone is talking about,after rewatching the movie several times as well, and in asking others, they DO all just "assume" Ninny is Idgie..On that, I have not read the book, and cannot wait to,but I believe also that is was a rated PG movie made for entertainment, and VERY well done, regardless of the facts,and that the movie does leave us scratching our heads, on the "Is Ninny Idgie?" question.I see both sides, the facts say she is not, I agree, the special notice to her socks, purple in her hair,tennis shoes,so I believe it intentionally leaves us asking and discussing all these questions.Fun!Back in that day, as well as today, women can have a very close relationship, and be committed to each other, there just wasn't that big word "lesbian" during those times, it just was what it was, it is what it is. they were absolutely committed to each other! thanks for all your interesting comments on this subject, very thought provoking!!

by jo on Wednesday June 30, @02:41AM

re: Fried Green Tomatoes

This is one of the very few "chick flicks" that I have ever seen at the big screen theatre. Remembering it vividly, because it was on a real "first" date with an old friend. We were at a social event, a fundraiser for MDA & United Way. She informed me that she always desired to go on a real; honest to goodness date with me - no strings attached, but it never happened over the years we knew one another. So now, the rest of the story... I understand where you felt the screenwriters alluded to the possibility of a homosexual or lesbian liaison, maybe not intentionally, but you could feel an undercurrent - a chemistry that some people may have missed. That these two women would actually die for one another. Including the fact that Idgie, [played by Mary Stuart Masterson] was always the big tomboy, always wearing the bib overalls, didn't help either. In my humble opinion, I truly believe that two people don't have to be making love to one another to aspire to this unusually deep, intimate relationship. Idgie proved she would do anything for Ruth and vice versa throughout the movie & book. Idgie jumped on Frank Bennett when she saw what he had done -beating and keeping Ruth down, keeping her afraid, battered and unable to leave her house, which became a prison thereby forbidding ANY visits from family or old friends. I believe that Ninny is and was Idgie growing up. The timeframe, all the dates work out perfectly if you do the math. There is the elderly woman in bib overalls selling honey on the side of the road - but that is never definitive. Ruth & Idgie's relationship was a recipe blended with a deeply rich, compassionate, human, real and intimate love. Yes, we also believed that Idgie and Ruth made love. You have to remember, that in which the author, screenwriter or director will deliberately tease the audience with the difference between semblance and reality. It's done by people all the time, not only in books & movies but in everyday life as well. Until next time - Peace In Your Heart Mind & Spirit - Always, Thomas White Chicago, Illinois P.S. Yes, even if you do not want to believe it, there were gays as far back as history goes. Remember back then they called them "queers" and "old maids." But hey, I didn't tell you if anyone asks. "Remember - you'll learn to love it." See you at the movies!

by Thomas Anthony White on Thursday July 01, @09:04AM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I'm glad I found this. While I haven't read the book yet, I have seen the movie a number of times and LOVE IT!!!! Of the 2 main topics...I love the relationship between Idgie and Ruth and don't really care what their relationship is...sexual or not...I'm just glad they are so close! It's such a beautiful relationship either way!
I'm so glad that I'm not the only one that has questioned Idgie/Ninny being one and the same. It is quite an enigma...arguements on both sides. Hope the book gives me more information to make my decision.

by Sallie Christian on Friday July 30, @02:31PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I've read the comments and controversy on this Ninny vs. Idgie thing. I do believe that Ninny is herself and not Idgie. I think the whole purple hair, tennis shoes, and wacky socks are all a way to commemorate Idgie. She does say something along the lines of not forgetting friends to Evelyn. So the whole shoes, socks, and hair is a way for her not to forget Idgie, as assumed she would be like a sister to her since she had married her brother Cleo Threadgood. And since she would be like a sister to her, she would have a picture of Ruth because her and Idgie were practically lovers.Therefore remembering her "almost sister's" lover. Though I have not read the book, but plan on it, I still have one question. Who is the lady that screams "SHE'S GOING TO RUIN MY WEDDING!" in the beginning of the movie. Is this Ninny? and who is she marring? Cleo Threadgood?

by Katie on Thursday September 09, @09:41PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

To answer the above, the girl getting married and screaming at the beginning of the movie is Idgie and Buddy's sister, Leona.
I have only seen the movie... 1000 times (and still have it memorized verbatim)... but have never read the book. The first time I watched it (and fell in love with it) I was 10 years old. As soon as the credits started rolling my mom, sister, and I all asked "Is Ninny Idgie?". We immediately watched it again, both because it was a great movie and to look for 'clues'. Yes, there were a lot of things that would lead you to believe they were the same person, but bottom line is... it would not be possible, unless Ninny is a total liar. I think it makes for a great conversation and compels the viewer to watch the movie again and again. From the comments I have read about the book, it makes it clear that they are two different people.
Regarding the relationship between Idgie and Ruth, I think Idgie is a lesbian, and is in love with Ruth. I don't think Ruth is a lesbian, but she finds the love and strength in Idgie that she needs. Whether their relationship ever led to a physical relationship, I think that is left to question (at least in the movie because I like I said, I haven't read the book... yet). However, I think it is more than reasonable to assume they did have a physical relationship, and as mentioned before 1991 wasn't quite ready for that on the big screen, despite the fact that lesbian relationships have been a fact of life and literature for centuries (look up Sappho of Lesbos). I think the "symbolic sex" is also plausible, The honey pot can very well be seen as a sexual reference, where Idgie provides a gratifying treat for her ‘friend’ and Ruth dubs her a bee charmer, pertaining to her seduction of Ruth. This can be a stretch, but that is the great thing about symbolism. The food fight, I can definitely see as a sexual representation, as the director intended it to be. It is both playful and passionate. The women are hot and sweaty and rolling around on the floor. Grady walks in, and demands the food fight stop, and Ruth – not Idgie – smears chocolate icing down is face slowly, as if to tempt him, and tease him, and let him know that he can’t have a part in this, to which he replies that Idgie has been a bad influence on Ruth. This can refer to Ruth taking part in a lesbian relationship with Idgie… or it could be a silly, fun, food fight. Either way, it was created so ambiguously that those who want to accept that it is purely a friendship the two women share can see it as that, and those who see them as lovers can correlate the women's actions as such. Yes, Idgie is rough and Ruth is soft, demonstrating the masculine feminine connection. Yes, the two women raise Buddy Jr. together. Yes, Idgie clings to Ruth instead of moving on and having a family of her own. This could be a lesbian couple, or this could be damn good friends. Either way, I love these two female characters. But I must add the devastation Idgie seems to feel when finding out Ruth is getting married. Girls are usually happy when a friend is getting married. Idgie seems heartbroken, and Ruth acts like she is fulfilling a duty. I’ve never known someone to not go to a friend’s wedding, but watch from a distance longingly as her friend starts her new life… I have known someone in love to do just that.
In regards to the flapper in the movie, I always assumed that was Eva who owned the River Club.

by Amanda Statler on Wednesday September 15, @01:48AM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

The funny thing about this movie is that they always talk crap about people from Georgia, but Whistle stop is actually in Juliet, Georgia. I have been there and the Fried Green Tomatoes are amazing! It is the exact same cafe as in the movie! super cool they even have a sigh in sheet for visiters and they have people from all over the world...

by chelsea warnecke on Tuesday November 16, @05:23PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

While it is not stated in the movie that both Ruth and Idgie are lovers, it is pretty clear that Idgie is in love with Ruth.

As for the Ninny/Idgie question, evertime I watch the movie I always believe that Ninny is Idgie. I think that my believing that Ninny is Idgie only serves to make te movie that much better.

I have never read the book and until tonight, I never even knew there was a book. I am definitely going to read the book now.

by Kimberly on Friday November 19, @01:27AM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

Having just watched the movie again I came here to read others comments about Ninny being Idgie. I realized how many people saw the movie before reading the book. What better way to get folks out to buy the book than leave them with the faint impression the characters are one and the same?

The book was clear Ninny was Idgie's sister-in-law. Anyone who read the book knew that. But we know more people go to movies than read (a shame, IMO), and a gem of a movie like this was a great opportunity to get them pointed toward a bookstore.

by Marc on Saturday November 20, @01:34PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

Ninny is idgies other brothers wife. The one that was making fun of her on the stairs b4 the wedding

by Laura on Tuesday November 30, @08:35PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

If anyone remembers in the movie Idgie's younger brother was named Julian, not Cleo. Since she only had two brothers-Buddy, who was killed and Julian who teased the young girl on her sister's wedding day and when the adult Idgie climbed through his bedroom window from her window above his to take the car keys and said "thank you Julian". Never once in the movie was Julian called Cleo. I think Ninny and Idgie were one and the same. Take care all. Enjoy both the movie and the book.

by Irish on Wednesday December 01, @12:14AM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

In the DVD commentary, director Jon Avnet states quite clearly that Idgie and Ruth are lovers. Further, Fannie Flagg (the author) has stated in numerous interviews that the women are lovers. Clearly, this aspect was toned down to please uptight 1990's United States, but elements are there regardless. In short, we should take the AUTHOR'S word at face value; she knows her own work.

Ninny is NOT Idgie:

1. The film does not begin in 1918, but rather "sometime between WWI and WWI." Several clues tell us it later than 1918 at the film's start. If Idgie is 10-12 when Buddy dies and Ruth is clearly 16-17, then in the 1938 for Frank's murder- Ruth would be 36-37- she clearly is not pushing 40 at the trial. Also, the tombstone for Buddy Jr's arm says he was born in 1932, making him 6 at the time of the trial. So essentially Ruth gave birth when she was 30-31. In this era of the States, it was highly, highly, highly unusual for women to a) wait so late in life to marry/bear children and b) survive birthing when they did wait. For all these reasons, the film clearly starts much later than 1918, making it impossible for Idgie to be 82 in 1985 (when the Evelyn meets Ninny). She is just too old.

2. She tells Evelyn that she was married to Cleo for 40 years. As she is also a widow, it is presumed the marriage ended because of his death. Barring no reason to believe he died a young and tragic death; this offers why Ninny is not in the 1920's-1930's tale. Perhaps she just developed the implied closeness only AFTER Ruth's death/her marriage to Idgie's brother.

3. There IS a boy credited as "Young Cleo" in the film. Cleo is not one of the 2 brothers by the stairs at the beginning of the film, but Ninny never said Idgie had only 2 brothers. He wasn't a focal point of the story so he was not in the scene. The fact that he is named in the credits proves that he does exist.

4. Ninny SAYS she is Idgie's sister-in-law. She says she married Cleo.

The honey at the end could have a) been placed by the real Idgie- just because we don't see doesn't mean she isn't real - - or b) it could have been placed by Ninny, in memory of Idgie. She says several times that Idgie/Ruth are alive, as long as they remember them. By remembering her, Ninny has kept Idgie alive- so to Ninny and Evelyn, she IS alive.

by Mp on Monday December 06, @07:50AM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

Fannie Flagg's works center on female empowerment, female friendships, [subtle] loving, lesbian relationships, and self-discovery/growth through those relationships.

It is fun to debate the meanings, but we need to remember this is not a David Lynch work with dream sequences and layered mysteries. We need to accept the author, director, and character's words; they are more or less straightforward.

by Mp on Monday December 06, @07:57AM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

i adore the book. it made me laugh cry and punch a wall all in one chapter. i maybe only 15 but i related so much. i cant explain how wonderful the book is. i am an extremely indecisive person but when any body ask me what my fav. book is its always fried green tomatoes at the whistle stop cafe.
there is also one thing im absolutely sure of: I ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY HATE THE MOVIE. how dare they!? they took out and added in and rearranged the whole thing until it was nothing but an outline of what the book was. and yes idgie and ruth were gay. no duh hollywood just didn't like that. they also didn't like all but one of the black people. i could go on forever but i hate typing so thankx for reading
Teddy P:)

by Teddy on Tuesday April 19, @03:16PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I absolutely love the movie, but I have never read the book so I cannot speak on its behalf. On the issue of Idgie and Ruth having a homosexual relationship, I see them as being best friends who have a common deep characteristic, which is having a void in their heart from the tragic loss of Buddy and experiencing that at such young ages. I believe they were in love yes, but not as lovers or intimates but just friends. They were there for each other and had no one else but each other. The Bible verse Ruth sent after her mother died was a hint to us as viewers that she would be with Idgie and her family from now on and "where they lodge, she will lodge." They were two completely different women with two completely different personalitys who had just one commonality that bonded them together for life.

by Kiley on Monday May 16, @02:16PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

Ok so this is actually my fav movie of all time. So when in the movie is a chleo threadgood mentioned??? Never till mrs threadgood says she married him. Ninni wasn't close to Evelyn so she told the story as a third party but I believe by the shoes and the end scene with the grave and honey that she is indeed iggy. Also back in those days there was still segregation, yet ninny says she's taking care of mrs Otis who is sippsys baby sister. Well sippsy was older than iggy which would make sippsys baby sister just a lol older than ninny. Wat white character in this movie bedsides iggy and Ruth did u ever see spend any amount of time befriending are caring for a black person. So I believe iggy and ninny are one and the same along with the pictures on ninnies table she was a threadgood but not by marriage also yes Ruth and iggy were in love. Ruth only married a man cuz it's wat was expected of her she fell in love with iggy that's why when iggy came to see her for the first time she said look at u all grown up tell me do u got a fella. They were mutually in love and shared very intamate looks and talks.

by Becky on Wednesday May 18, @07:41PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes clarification

both the book and the movie are good. Though the book can be confusing if you dont may attention to the dates.

ruth & idgie are friends, partners and lovers in the book. in the movie its only implied

Ninny married Cleo. She is NOT Idgie ... it is not possible.
ninny had an inside view of the Threadgoode family, she was adopted by them then married into the family and that is why she knows so much

by claire on Sunday May 29, @01:13PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I am currently reading the book and while I assumed from the movie that there was a relationship between Idgie and Ruth, the book makes it clear there was. The book also makes it clear there was a physical relationship between Eva and Idgie and alludes to Ruth's jealousy of Eva.

The book states that Ruth professes to be in love with Idgie, having thought about her everyday of her marriage. In fact, it states that Idgie is the reason that Ruth left Whistle Stop the first time because she realized how serious her feelings were for Idgie. When she comes back to Whistle Stop and sits Idgie's parents down and tells them that she has no money, but she can work and that she was sorry for hurting Idgie and should have never left before and will never leave again.. to me that speech from Ruth came across as a suitor.

And clearly the parents accepted it and gave money to Idgie as she had Ruth and a baby to support.

With all of that, I suspect it wasn't platonic for either of them. And I loved the way their relationship was portrayed, that neither of them, particularly Ruth, questioned it and also the Whistle Stop community's acceptance of the family Ruth and Idgie made. Ruth even gave her son Idgie's last name. I for one wish the movie had played to the relationship a little more as thats what makes the story unique and their strength ultimately, empowers Evelyn.

On a side note, Mary Louise Parker did an amazing job playing Ruth.

by Kate on Tuesday May 31, @10:07AM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

I wondered the same all these years about idgie and mrs. Threadgood being the same person. I didnt think she was only because when she meets evalyn in the nursing home she said she married into the family. But all other things pointed to her being idgie. All I know is that this the most beautiful love story if all time. Idgie was so in love with Ruth and the underlying note that idgie is gay is never mentioned but very implied and makes for a great story. This movie will never get old and I can't wait to read the book.

Thanks for all the great comments!

by Jessica on Monday August 08, @08:26AM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

Ive always watched the movie believing Mrs. Threadgood was Idgy but wasnt positive. After reading these posts I watched the movie again believing Mrs. Threadgood is who she says she the scene where the family is getting ready for the wedding they show the mom, buddy, dad, julian, a young blonde man and a young woman. If the family is getting ready for a wedding only the immediate family would be there. This same couple stands behind the mom and Leona as they try to coax Idgy down the stairs. I believe that was Cleo and Mrs. threadgood

by Cynthia on Thursday March 15, @05:42PM

Re: Fried Green Tomatoes

As I watch the scene again, I believe she is Lilly, the woman he gives the compliment to right before Mrs. threadgood says she had the biggest crush on him.

by Cynthia on Thursday March 15, @05:47PM

Search For Books:

(in association with

This site is made possible by:
Powered by Zope  Squishdot Powered

"Any system that depends on reliability is unreliable." -- Nogg's Postulate
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies.
Comments are owned by the Poster.