Fried Green Tomatoes, Life Lessons and History

Back in December 2016, we looked at the children’s movie “Fievel: An American Tail” as an example of how to introduce your kids to the concept of immigration and telling them where they came from. The movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” starring Kathy Bates, Mary-Louise Parker, Mary Stuart Masterson and Jessica Tandy is a great example of the importance of listening to the older generations and the stories they tell. 

The Story

“Fried Green Tomatoes” is a work of fiction that began as a novel and made into a full feature film that tells the story nursing homeof a middle-aged woman who befriends a spunky woman living in a nursing home.

This older woman, known as Ninny, meets Evelyn who is at the nursing home visiting a relative. Ninny strikes up a conversation with Evelyn and begins to tell her very interesting stories about her life in the south during the Great Depression.

Evelyn’s visits increase to spend more time with Ninny and the two become very close, almost family. By the end of the movie, Ninny leaves the nursing home to return to her home that has since been torn down due to its deteriorating condition.

While back in her hometown, she learns that one of her close friends from the past is still alive from evidence found on the gravesite of a loved one. Ninny accepts Evelyn’s invite to move with Evelyn and her husband.

Ninny’s stories involve everything that a real person could experience in their lives.

  • Trials and tribulations of adolescencetomatoes
  • Loss of a sibling
  • Losing close family and friends throughout life
  • Racism
  • Running a woman-owned restaurant that specialized in fried green tomatoes
  • Domestic violence

The movie switches between present day and to the past that provides a vivid image of Ninny’s stories and the people that were in her life.

Evelyn is learning her own lessons from Ninny’s past that she applies to her own everyday life.

The Importance of Remembering the Past

All these people’ll live as long as you remember ’em. ~Ninny Threadgoode

The movie plays out Ninny’s stories that make you think about how life could’ve been like for people living in that area during the Great Depression. As you watch the movie, you can even feel the emotions (comedy, romance, drama and a little bit of horror) from the various stories and the characters involved.

While the movie was set during the Great Depression, some of the experiences can still relate to issues of the world today that we all could face at one time or another.

As we watch Evelyn listen intently to Ninny’s stories, this movie teaches and reminds us to always listen to the older generations and the stories that they tell. Once they pass away, so do their stories and memories.

Have you watched this movie? Did you enjoy it? Do you see the connections between the past and the present from this movie and everyday life?

Also, Do you think that maybe Idgie and Ninny are the same person?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Parental Warning/MPAA Rating Pg-13

This movie is rated PG13 for mild violence and adult situations. Please preview the movie or read online descriptions before you allow children to watch this movie.

Credits to the Movie Production Companies

“Fried Green Tomatoes” was released in December 1991 by Universal Studios. It was directed by Jon Avnet and produced by Norman Lear.