Seven-year-old Ludovic wants to be a girl. In fact, he thinks he already IS one, or should have been one, anyhow; God just made a tiny mistake with his chromosomes. His parents aren’t terribly sympathetic, nor are his neighbors, who try to get the lad booted out of school. If this sounds like yet another incursion into small-town (and small-minded) America, you’re not that far off the mark, though this particular effort comes from Belgium. MY LIFE IN PINK, which won a Golden Globe, is a watchable, mildly entertaining movie that just can’t rise above its pat, cookie-cutter philosophizing about tolerance and understanding.A big part of the problem is its schematic look at human affairs; the film too neatly divides everyone into the wisely tolerant and the cruelly intolerant. Ludovic’s conflicts are entirely external, and this limits his interest as a character, charming though actor Georges Du Fresne may be. You couldn’t really call him confused because he knows exactly what he wants (though the film never goes into the reasons why a pre-pubescent boy dreams of getting a sex-change number, which is an uncommon fantasy regardless of one’s sexual orientation). Likewise, the boy’s nemeses are nothing more than a depressing pack of prigs; the film’s vision of the Belgian middle-class wouldn’t feel out of place in American Beauty.
Consequently, the film turns into yet another plea for accepting non-conventional lifestyles—a noble cause, surely, but this is probably why the characters seem more like types than fully realized personalities. The film is OK, overall, but it might have worked better as an absurdist piece. Director Alain Berliner shows a good feel for comedy, but he doesn’t really go for that angle. Instead, he seems intent on turning little Ludovic into some sort of Gay Everyman, but the boy’s struggles feel less archetypal than just plain clichéd. You damn well know that the parents' attempts to “reform” their kid will fail, just as you know that his psychiatrist won’t be able to help him a bit.Still, it makes for pleasant viewing, even if you can’t escape the impression that you’ve seen it all before.