Ludovic is a six-year-old boy who believes he was meant to be a girl. He cross-dresses and generally acts like a girl. He finds only rejection, isolation and guilt. — Genre: Foreign Film - French — Rating: R — Release Date: 1... more »4-DEC-1999
NOTHING WORTHY OF AN "R" HERE...THE RATING BOARD'S NUTS!
Claude Bouchard Jr. | Frederick, MD | 09/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"More than a bold statement about how people generally treat those who are different, this film is primarily a wonderfully sweet story. This film works so well because of its many levels: Ludovic's charm and the daydreams he uses to escape (you can't help but love him and feel for him), his parents' concern and anger (sometimes irrational but often justified), and the neighborhood's consternation at what appears to be something completely out of whack with their suburban "normalcy" and blandness. The interesting part of this film was that, despite the general belief that children can often be most cruel to each other, it was the adults who misbehaved and caused all the problems. Definitely a first-rate story with a great blend of comedy, drama, and tears. As far as the technical aspects of the movie are concerned, they're also first-rate. The widescreen format is exactly what this movie needs (I simply couldn't imagine it in fullscreen format). The colors are bold and bright, and the sound is well-balanced. The subtitles are available in English (with some incomplete translation at times, and a few unnecessary vulgarities), French (with a word-for-word translation), and Spanish. Like others here, I cannot comprehend the "R" rating. There's no sex and there's no violence. I've seen "G"-rated Disney movies with more questionable material than this! The f-word is present, but only because of the translators' choice of syntax: it wasn't necessary and certainly wasn't in the French script. In fact, with a proper translation, this movie could have been released with a "PG" rating. As such, I personally believe this movie should be seen by high school students as part of a curriculum on tolerance. Heck, the English subtitles even use the word "bent" instead of the more common slang word for homosexual...so if they could be polite with that word, they certainly didn't need to use the other vulgarities. (For those who don't speak French, here's a clarification about a certain aspect of the dialog which, admittedly, is difficult to translate. The French word "tapette" has two meanings: it's a slang word meaning homosexual, and it also means fly-swatter. What meaning it takes is obviously dependent on the overall context of the conversation. I hope this clarifies the scene in which Ludo's dad takes out the fly-swatter to explain what "bent" means). On a final note, there IS an available soundtrack to his film. You can get it on Amazon's French site at www.amazon.fr for around twenty dollars --at the time of this writing, anyway. Even if you don't know French, the site is set up exactly like the American website, so it's easy to navigate (and the icons are the same...a shopping cart in France looks like a shopping cart in America)."
The R-rating is a hate crime!
firstname.lastname@example.org | US | 10/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since gay and lesbian themes are sort of OK in Hollywood as long as it conforms with the market stereotypes, it is aggravating to see this Franco-Belgian coproduction being rated "R" (just get rid of the whole rating crap, will you). Transsexual feelings in kids! Oh my God, that's the perverse of all perversia, plus it's foreign, and spoken in French, must be corruptingly erotic and evil... R. Next. Hereby I wish to call out to all parents to not only talk about sexuality with your kids, but to give NO heed to this rating, and even view this movie together! By banning this film from a large part of the teenage population, ignorance and thus prejudice about sexual orientation and indeed about respect for difference are strengthened. This movie is not only bittersweet, it is, judged from previous comments, a colorful "child's view" of the narrow-minded adult world and its lack of fantasy. To Leonard Maltin: this story is not set in a suburb in Belgium, but Paris (in France!)."
Charming, Touching & Surprisingly Subversive
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 04/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The most obvious way to read MA VIE EN ROSE is as the tale of difficulties faces by a very young boy who is very likely transgendered--but given the multilayered nature of the film this is actually a rather narrow point of view. It would be more accurate to describe the film as a rather sly assault on a cookie-cutter society that reacts with a herd mentality toward anything in the least unusual. And Ludovic Fabre is a most unusual child: barely into school, he has become convinced that he is really a girl, and in his childhood innocence he sees absolutely nothing socially amiss with the idea.The film begins with a party at which neighbors gather to welcome the newly arrived Fabre family--only to be, along with the family, extremely disconcerted when Ludovic makes an entrance in meticulously applied make-up and a pink dress. His family passes the incident off as a joke, but Ludovic proves remarkably single-minded, and when he draws a neighborhood child into his fantasies he also incurs neighborhood hysteria. The result is at once comic and unpleasantly vicious as his classmates, his neighbors, and eventually his family gradually turn upon him.Although there are one or two problems with character development in the script, the cast--particularly Georges du Fresne as Ludovic and Helene Vincent as free-spirit grandmother Elizabeth--is superlative, and director Alain Berliner balances the serio-comic story with a very light touch. Viewers will laugh a little, cry a little, and ultimately come away from the film feeling an uncertain hope. The fact that this film is rated "R" is merely so much more evidence of the power of the herd to dictate standards of normalicy--one or two profanities aside, there is absolutely nothing in the film to offend any intelligent viewer, and the film will hold a special appeal for older children who have been targeted as in any way different by their peers... and for the many adults who remember what it was like to be a victim of a society that prizes conformity over imagination, creativity, honesty, integrity, and self-awareness. Strongly recommended."
Ma Vie En Rose
moejama120 | Binghamton, NY USA | 05/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What do you call a girl who would rather play sports than color? What about a girl who prefers shorts to dresses? Some might answer "normal" while others will answer "a tomboy." Nevertheless, tomboys are a common phenomenom who are fortunate enough to have no social stigmas attached to them. Find a boy who prefers to dance and wear dresses, however, and you are dealing with a sick child with homosexual tendencies. The double standard is both apparent and completely unfair. Ma Vie En Rose examines the role of sexual stereotypes in today's culture while showing how certain elements in society encourage conformity and inhibit diversity.Seven year-old Ludovic is a boy who wants to be a girl. He likes to wear dresses and talks of marrying another young boy by the name of Jerome. Ludovic's family, who have recently moved into a new neighborhood, are embarassed by Ludovic's actions and struggle to suppress his transexual yearnings. Though Ludovic's actions are surprising to viewers, it is still more interesting to examine the panopticon his family is part of. Ludovic's father, Pierre, does not know how to best cope with his son's tendencies. Ludovic's sometimes embarassing displays of femininity threaten to derail his father's career, as Jerome happens to be Pierre's employers son (yikes!). Those who assume that Ludovic is gay have missed the point of this film entirely. Sexuality isn't even an issue, especially at Ludovic's age. Ma Vie En Rose isn't concerned with Ludovic's eventual sexual orientation. The film is careful to keep its focus within childhood. Ludovic likes to wear dresses and makeup. He associates these things as the traits of women, and for this reason, feels he needs to marry Jerome. In an idealistic world, Ludovic would be able to enjoy these things without giving up on his masculinity. In the real world, however, Ludovic must unconsciously choose sides. He chooses the "feminine" because the restrictions of socialization give him no other option. This film is a bright (so bright in its use of color, it would make Barbie sick) and intelligent film which instead of asking why, asks why not?"
moejama120 | 12/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One need not be gay or lesbian to enjoy this film. Ludo is a courageous little boy who does not seem to notice the uproar he is causing. The touching thing is how his parents eventually come to accept him. The sad part is how much Ludo and his family have to suffer to reach that point. I have a daughter about Ludo's age in the film, and I saw Ludo much like I see my daughter: as a senstive little child with a wonderful imagination."