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Film / Ma Vie En Rose

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A new family has moved in, and it's time for the block housewarming party to commence. As the party progresses, the children are introduced. First up is the eldest, Tom. Then comes the second eldest, Jean. Then comes the third child, and only daughter, Zoe. And everyone applauds...until it's revealed that the "third child" they thought they saw in the pretty pink dress was actually their youngest, a son named Ludovic.

...Yeah. Life for them becomes more difficult after that. See, Ludovic is not just a Wholesome Crossdresser, she's actually convinced she's really a girl. Even when confronted with irrefutable evidence, she figures it all out: when God was giving out all the chromosomes on the date of her conception, he accidentally lost a set of X chromosomes in the trash, and replaced them with a set of Y chromosomes. And while she's developing a sort-of crush on her new friend Jerome, the rest of the town is getting bent out of shape over whether or not they should let their kids hang around with a boy who habitually dresses in girl's clothes.


Comparable to the later Tomboy. Not to be confused with La Vie en Rose.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity: On the advice of his boss, Ludo's dad decides to spend more time with her to get her to be more masculine, and enrolls her in football (soccer), encouraging him from the sidelines. Ludo is hopeless at the sport. After the game, the unbearably cruel locker-room taunting and gang-bullying will feel familiar to LGBT members of the audience. Later, however, they start dancing together.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Ludovic may or may not grow up to be gay, if she turns out not to be transgender. Her parents are certainly worried she will, though.
  • Ambiguous Gender Identity: It's hard to tell whether Ludo is transgender or just gender nonconforming, but the film seems to support the former more. The same can be said about Chris.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: The new neighborhood accepts Ludo for who she is, with Chris saying he's to blame for making her wear a dress on his birthday. Mom also admits she treated her child wrong and says she'll accept her the way she is. Even so, it's going to take a while for them to mend their relationship, and Ludovic is still visibly traumatized from how she's been treated.
  • Brats with Slingshots: Chris has one, and shoots Ludo with it as a way of saying hi. Ludo isn't amused.
  • Cool Big Sis: Ludovic's sister is the only one of her immediate family members apart from Granny that is supportive of her, despite her trans identity. She explains to herm what periods are and why boys can't have it when she asks about her cramps. When she finds out her little brothers let Ludo get beaten up and blame each other, she yells at them both for not protecting her and saying they are both entitled brats.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Bizarrely enough. It involves a popular dress-up doll.
  • Double Standard: In-universe one demonstrated in full at the end.
  • Driven to Suicide: Ludo tries to freeze herself when she's beaten up in the locker room. Fortunately, her family finds her in time.
  • Dysfunctional Family: They're a harmonious and loving bunch at the beginning, but Ludovic's gender troubles cause all kinds of discord, to the point that she says she wants to live with his grandmother instead of his parents and her parents let her and consider leaving her with her when they move.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Ludovic loves and wants to be like Pam, a Barbie-like doll and children's TV character. She tends to trail sparkles in the air around her. On one occasion, Ludo imagines her blowing sparkly air that ties up two interfering mothers and takes Ludo, in a pink dress, and Jerome flying through the air with her.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: Ludo dreams of wearing one to marry Jerome.
  • Giant Poofy Sleeves: Zoe's princess dress, which Ludovic makes a grand entrance wearing.
  • Imaginary Friend: Ludovic's daydreams of being rescued by Barbie-woman Pam.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: At the end of the film, Ludovic meets a boy named Chris — short hair, shorts and T-shirt, catapult — who turns out to be a girl named Christine. During Chris's tenth birthday party she (or he, since he may be trans) makes Ludo swap costumes so that Chris is wearing the musketeer outfit and Ludovic the princess dress.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In the end, Mom sees Ludovic walking into a billboard with Pam, saying she will no longer be a bother to her parents and go away forever. She tries to chase after them, only to fall into the billboard. We then cut to her reviving on the couch, where it's revealed that she fainted. Even though the others assume she is hallucinating when she asks if her child was going to run away with a doll, Ludovic shakes her head, making it unclear if they shared this Imagine Spot or if reality blurred. Either way, someone found her and got her back to the party.
  • Momma's Girl: Ludovic has a good relationship with her dad but seems especially close to her mother, also to her grandmother and older sister. This, along with her parents' wish for a girl as their last child, is a possible explanation for her attraction to all things feminine. However as a sort of lynch-mob mentality develops among their neighbors—threatening the family's livelihood—Mom can no longer tolerate Ludovic's gender nonconformity. She begins unpredictably lashing out, blaming (with shocking frankness) her child for their changing fortunes. It gets to the point that Ludovic runs away in the climax, and Mom goes My God, What Have I Done? when she says she'll go away and never be a bother to her anymore.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Mom has this reaction when she finds out Chris made Ludo wear a dress and she had just beaten her up in front of the parents, who pull her away and tell her off for being abusive. Ludo then vanishes, and Mom checks the freezer again, desperately trying to make up her past behavior to her. It's unclear if she really did enter a billboard with Pam, or she fainted while searching for him.
  • One of the Boys: We don't see much of Chris, but as far as we can tell, she pals around largely with boys.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Ludo loves them.
  • The Runaway: Ludo vanishes twice as a result of her family bullying her or letting her get hurt. Both times, her parents are frantic.
    • The first time, she hides in the freezer and turns blue from the cold. They frantically revive her, fearing he was trying to kill herself.
    • The second time is in the climax, after the birthday party. Ludo runs away just as Mom realizes she was wrong to beat her up — Chris made her wear his birthday dress — and she checks the freezer again. She's not there, and it's unclear where she ran off to, but when she catches up, she tells her she won't be a bother to her anymore.
  • Tomboy: Chris. Either that or he is a trans boy.
  • Trans Tribulations: Ludovic is misunderstood at every turn, tries to butch it up, fails, feels miserable, and attempts suicide. She gets better though.
  • Trans Nature: Ludovic clearly feels transgender at seven. She may or may not grow up still feeling that way. Chris may be transgender as well.
  • Truth in Television:
    • Ludo's obsession with a Barbie-like character and love of pink dresses are realistic traits for a young trans girl or gender nonconforming boy.
    • Likewise is her insisting that she's a girl.
    • One might easily fail to grasp the full implications of Ludovic's intent, after she's discovered in the giant freezer in the carport (it wasn't just a hiding place). More recent first-time viewers of the DVD are more likely to "get it," assuming they've followed the news in the past couple of years.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Ludovic gets one near the end of the movie.
  • Youthful Freckles: Chris is freckle-faced.