Literature: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Ruth, Idgie, and the whistle stop cafe
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is a 1987 novel by Fannie Flagg. It was adapted into the film Fried Green Tomatoes, which was released in 1991.Fried Green Tomatoes tells the story of Idgie and Ruth as they live during the early 20th century in the south, as they face racism, sexism, and deal with homosexuality. All with a touch of humor thrown in between. Their story is told by an old woman named Ninny Threadgood, when visited in her retirement home by Evelyn, an unhappy woman in a troubled marriage who becomes inspired by Idgie and Ruth's spirit and learns from them how to be her own person.Needs a Better Description
Provides Examples Of:
Ambiguously Gay: The movie decided to play Idgie and Ruth's relationship as a more subtle and heavily implied thing, rather than outright stating to the camera they were lovers.
Beware the Nice Ones: What really happened to Frank Bennet? Did he just take off into the night? Drown himself? Or did the sweet tiny elderly black woman he had knocked out moments before crack his head with a frying pan, then serve his roasted flesh as pork in the cafe? Or maybe he just went fishing.
Brick Joke: Sipsey can't stand to see the heads of dead animals, so she buries them in the garden, which makes the vegetables grow big. Later, Dot Weems can't figure out how Sipsey grew butterbeans the size of silver dollars. Sipsey also buries Frank Bennet's head there.
The judge accepts evidence he knows is complete hooey to be admitted into trial. The "evidence" exonerates a woman and a black man accused of killing a white man. The judge has a special hatred for said white man, which is why he throws the murder charge out and rules the white man's disappearance as "death by misadventure".
Creator Cameo: Fannie Flagg showed up herself as a bizarre relationship expert.
Deep South: As per usual Flagg work, it shows both the best of it and very very worse.
Doorstop Baby: Of a sort. A woman dares not come home with a child because her husband has been in prison for years. Sipsie, who has always wanted a child, races down to the train station to get it. She names the baby George.
Everything's Worse with Bees: Averted. Idgie can walk right up to a bee hive, jam her hand in it, and rip out a fist full of honeycombs without getting stung. As a Crowning Moment Of Awesome for the actress in the movie, their stunt double couldn't do the scene that day, so she decided to do it herself for real.
Finally Found the Body: Frank Bennet's truck is found in the river. Years later, as the garden by the cafe is being dug up, so is his skull.
Human Resources: Frank Bennett gets cut into steaks and served in the diner
I Am A Humanitarian: After Sipsie kills Bennet, she and the others at the Whistle Stop Cafe take a page from Sweeney Todd and serve him to the investigator looking for Bennet in order to hide the body.
Except he actually isn't. Idgie mentions offhandedly that she recognizes the "big clodhoppers" she believes Grady wears. In a deleted scene, Grady reveals the truth— his feet (and thus his shoes) are actually quite small, and thus he couldn't have been who Idgie saw in those robes.
Pass Fail: One of the novel's sub-plots is about a black character who is able to pass as white, only to cause trouble to a relative who recognized her without realizing she was trying to pass.
Parking Payback: Evelyn rear-ends a car that stole her parking spot... six times.
Railroad Tracks of Doom: Two instances of this trope happen in the story. In the second incident, the victim did not walk away in one piece. In the first, the victim didn't walk away at all.
The Red Stapler: The author of the book found an old abandoned ghost town, and decided to write the book to make up a story behind the place. Then the movie came and they filmed it in the same ghost town, and ended up cleaning the place up a little. The film and book brought so much attention to it, that they opened up the actual whistle stop cafe there.
Right for the Wrong Reasons: Judge Smoote thinks that Idgie and her cook killed Frank Bennet but dismisses the case anyways. Unbeknownst to him, the real killer is the cook's adoptive mother.
Scrapbook Story: The novel tells various characters' stories through traditional narrators, newspaper clippings and the local Whistlestop newspaper The Weems Weakly. The end of the book evens has recipes from the titular restaurant.
Straw Feminist: Various purposefully comical stereotypes show up in Evelyn's time, and after getting caught up in the story, Evelyn herself becomes an aggressive female-empowerment activist for a while before calming down.
Throw It In: A lot of the scenes in the film were improvised, such as the drunken baseball game, or the food fight. In one instance Ninny's actress is trying to remember what her line is, before remembering it and going on. They decided to keep this in because it made for a convincing dramatic pause.
Trickster: Idgie exhibits almost all the characteristics: disdain for social conventions, dubious relationship with the truth, gender-bending behavior, seeming immortality.
Unreliable Narrator: Did Idgie really serve that body as barbecue to customers? Maybe, maybe not. Ninny isn't about to let facts and details get in the way of a good story, so we may never know. This applies to pretty much everything she says to Evelyn.