"Fried Green Tomatoes," the feel-good sleeper starring Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker, Kathy Bates and the Oscar-nominated Jessica Tandy (for her role as the flashbackee who gets the story in motion) only suggests what the book it is based on spelled out: Idgie (Ms. Masterson) and Ruth (Ms. Parker) are lovers.
In Fannie Flagg's 1987 novel, "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe," the two women -- who sling hash and raise a baby in a Depression-era diner in deepest Alabama -- are fast friends whose affection for one another blooms into a romance. In John Avnet's adaptation, co-scripted by Ms. Flagg, Mr. Avnet and an uncredited Carol Sobieski, that element is decidedly downplayed.
"I had no interest in going into the bedroom," the first-time director told Entertainment Weekly. "It's not a political film at all," Ms. Flagg told the magazine. "It's about the possibilities of people being sweet and loving each other."