Southern housewife Evelyn (Bates) has had enough of her couch-potato husband (Sartain). Their sex life is dying, and even wrapping her naked body in cling-wrap merely provokes further apathy. Then, at a nursing-home, she meets old-timer Ninny (Tandy), who launches into a rambling recollection of long-gone friends and family: tales of feisty Idgie (Masterson) and Ruth (Parker) who once ran a café in Ninny's small Alabama home town. Gradually, Evelyn finds strength in the bravery of these two, and solace in Ninny's evocation of simpler times. With director Avnet, Fannie Flagg co-scripted this adaptation of her novel; but while the book deftly juggles separate narratives, the device proves clumsy on screen. More dizzying than the jumps between past and present is the speed with which consciousness-raised Evelyn swaps caricatures, evolving from Frump to Fighter. Essentially, the film is about fine performances - with Tandy securing an Oscar nomination - but it wins no prizes for subtlety.