Ma Vie en Rose

A delightful little film that deals with issues that should be considered obvious today in an age near the edge of the 2nd millennium, but, unfortunately, will instead most likely be sufficient reason to keep many from buying a ticket. Ludovic (George Fresne) is a charming, attractive, somewhat reserved boy who believes that he is a girl and, though he must finally resign himself to being a boy for the present, he states with wonderful, willful, childlike determination that he will become a girl later on. His parents have recently moved into a conservative neighborhood and as soon as the neighbors notice something different about the boy, their attitude toward the entire family changes. Ludovic reveals that he intends to marry his new friend, both neighbor and son of his father's boss, and things begin to become increasingly tense. Not long after this, Ludovic is discovered wearing the neighbors' deceased daughter's dress and enacting a mock-wedding ceremony with the son as groom, tolerance flies out the window and things get much worse. Ludovic's parents have dealt with this problem before in their previous home and had hoped it would not return. Loving her son dearly, but slowly becoming incapable of dealing with the difficulties that his "predicament" causes, Hanna (Michele Laroque), is usually a mother with a sense of humor who is not especially disturbed by the repetitive questions asked by her youngest son. The recent chain of events, however, finally gets her down and she eventually joins the others, although not as insidiously, in siding against her son regarding his gender directed proclivities. Ludovic's father, Pierre (Jean-Phillipe Ecoffey), decides that measures must be taken to make sure that boys will be boys.

The performance of Michele Laroque is sensitive without ever becoming incomprehensible, unbelievable, or absurd in any actions she may take. George Fresne delivers an astounding performance for one so young, dealing with issues probably beyond his total understanding, with an almost instinctive comprehension that is striking in effect while dealing with the normalcy of the situation in a subtle and refined way.

As scriptwriter Chris vander Stappen puts it, "Ma Vie en Rose est un sujet très intime mais complètement romancé. C'est un film sur la tolérance, sur la différence et sur le regard d'autrui. Ce n'est pas un manifeste, ce n'est pas une comédie au sens pur du terme".

And isn't Ludovic's Zoe (a cross between a giant-sized Barbie and a floating Mamie van Doren from a Macy's parade) just the end? How camp can you get? It all goes to show that life can still be viewed through rose-colored glasses, even when you're born to the sound of a different drummer.

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett