Yesterday I watched the flick “Fried Green Tomatoes” (1991). I thought I had never seen it before but it seemed strangely familar as I watched it.

Fried Green Tomatoes“In this adaptation of Fanny Flagg’s novel, flashbacks reveal the remarkable and mysterious story of soul mates Idgie (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Ruth Jamison (Mary-Louise Parker), whose antics cause an uproar in their rural Southern town during the 1920s. Feisty Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy) tells the tale to a repressed Alabama housewife (Netflix)

While there is defintely a sense of “girl-power” throughout this movie, there is a very powerful underlying message about the evil of racism. Actually, a lot of “isms” are turned upside down in this movie. Interestingly, the style reminded me a lot of Jesus’ parables, where you think one thing is going to happen and your expectations are totally turned upside down as Jesus seeks to communicate a deeper message.

For example, a scene early on has Ruth trying to get to know Idgie by going with her to the train yard, hopping on a train car and rifling through the skids of food. Prim and proper Ruth is agast as the train begins to move and Idgie starts hurling cans of food, boxes, ears of corn and other food items through the open door. “That food isn’t yours to take,” Ruth says indignantly (or some other words to that effect). Idgie keeps tossing out food and then Ruth sees what is going on. The train had been passing through a very poor area of town with people living in tents and huts. People are shouting, “Someone’s throwing food from the train!” and adults and children start running along the slow moving train. It dawns on Ruth that Idgie is giving the food to the poor. It is her concern for and connection with (she looks into the eyes of the children looking up at her, hoping for food) the people that moves Ruth to join Idgie in taking the food (i.e., stealing, something Ruth probably had never done) and giving to the people who were in terrible need of it.

In this brief scene, one sees a turning upside down of expectations and a conversion of heart — in Ruth certainly, but perhaps in the viewer as well.

Have you had a “parable moment” recently … something happen that turned your expectations upside down and revealed a deeper message?