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Ma Vie En Rose (My Life in Pink) [VHS] (1997)

Georges Du Fresne , Michèle Laroque , Alain Berliner  |  R |  VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Georges Du Fresne, Michèle Laroque, Jean-Philippe Écoffey, Hélène Vincent, Daniel Hanssens
  • Directors: Alain Berliner
  • Writers: Alain Berliner, Chris Vander Stappen
  • Producers: Alain Berliner, Arlette Zylberberg, Carole Scotta, Daniel Delume, Gérard Ruey
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home E
  • VHS Release Date: April 20, 1999
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767803337
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,293 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

One of the sweetest films to emerge from Europe in the 1990s, Alain Berliner's Ma Vie en Rose is the story of an innocent little boy, Ludovic (played with noncloying directness by Georges Du Fresne), who wants to be a girl. Convinced that he's the product of misplaced chromosomes (he imagines the mix-up in one of many delightful daydream sequences), he sets about righting the mistake by wearing dresses and high heels and experimenting with lipstick and makeup. The otherwise friendly suburban neighborhood becomes horrified by the gender confusion, though tellingly the cruelest blows come not from the teasing classmates but intolerant adults: one scene recalls the torch-and-pitchfork angry villagers from a Frankenstein movie. Ludo tries hard to be butch, but he can't deny his nature, especially when he meets a kindred spirit: a little girl who gladly trades her dress for his pants and shirt. This bittersweet mix of innocent fantasy and childhood cruelty has its moments of sadness and crushing misunderstandings, but the overall tone is loving, filled with tenderness and culminating in acceptance and togetherness. As the family stumbles and struggles to come to terms with Ludo, they find something special within him, an innocent conviction so powerful and pure that it's infectious. Ludo may not grow up to become a girl as he hopes, but his belief is so strong it's hard to deny him the possibility. This films reminds us that, to a child, anything is possible. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
91 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOTHING WORTHY OF AN "R" HERE...THE RATING BOARD'S NUTS! September 6, 2000
Format:DVD
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.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming, Touching & Surprisingly Subversive April 23, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
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.
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The R-rating is a hate crime! October 2, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
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!).
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ma Vie En Rose May 11, 2004
Format:DVD
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't look at life through Rose Tinted Spectacles
Some children are born knowing who they are, but convincing the rest of the world that who they are is okay can seem an unwinnable fight. Read more
Published 1 month ago by pipnuts
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting movie, to say the least
It was good, a little heartwarming, a little sad. But a good movie. Watched it not for entertainment though, but as a grad school assignment.
Published 1 month ago by Brian Harvey
5.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly my professor is so bad
I had to watch this for my Social Psychology class. It was good. So not practical. Nothing like any American movie i've seen.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful movie
Like "Ponette," Ma Vie en Rose shows how insensitive and irrational adults can be in the face a child's internal logic that is different than others.
Published 3 months ago by Dr Doran
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic beautiful movie
Amazing movie.
This is a great movie. Well acted and directed. I wish there were more movies like this in the market
Published 3 months ago by Jorge Ivan Carrillo
5.0 out of 5 stars exceptionally done
This movie was way ahead of its time, having come out more than 15 years ago. It is spot on in terms of a young transgender girl's journey and is realistic as it shows parents... Read more
Published 3 months ago by adam glick
5.0 out of 5 stars Just about nails it!
This is the first film I have watched and thought, "yup, that's exactly what it was like." When Ludo walked down the stairs in her oversized shoes I could see myself,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Asa Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
The subject of gender identity, social acceptance, and the impact on family is carefully orchestrated in this film. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Janine McCullom
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the Journey
This movie has subtitles and tells a wonderful story of a child who believes that he is a girl who is masquerading as a boy. Read more
Published 7 months ago by L. J. Richardson
4.0 out of 5 stars gender identity
Good for insight to transgender issues.
The story line was good in developing family issues, but barely scratched thev surface of it all. Easy access to the video.
Published 9 months ago by shanna
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soundtrack
I believe it is "Ma Vie en Rose" by Zazie, or it's called "Rose" or sometimes "La Vie en Rose". She has a second song called "La Vie en Rose", but that's not the one in the movie. The one in the movie is a remake of the Edith Piaf "Ma Vie en... Read More
Oct 6, 2007 by Sarsie |  See all 2 posts
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