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Q: Film: Ma Vie en Rose, Rated R ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: Film: Ma Vie en Rose, Rated R
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Movies and Film
Asked by: alluvialphil-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 16 Jul 2002 00:48 PDT
Expires: 15 Aug 2002 00:48 PDT
Question ID: 40057
Why is 'Ma Vie en Rose' Rated R?
Subject: Re: Film: Ma Vie en Rose, Rated R
Answered By: iaint-ga on 16 Jul 2002 01:37 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi alluvialphil

According to the Internet Movie Database, the MPAA gave "Ma Vie en
Rose" an 'R' rating for "brief strong language". A search of the
MPAA's own ratings database returns the same information, with no
additional detail.

IMDB Entry:

MPAA Ratings Database:
(from where you have to enter your search terms)

Not having seen the film I can't comment on exactly which words were
used, but interestingly they don't seem to have seriously offended the
organisations that rate films in other countries. Again, from the
   Argentina: 1
   Brazil: 12
   Chile: 14
   Finland: K-12
   Mexico: B
   Portugal: M/12
   Spain: T
   Sweden: 7
   UK: 12

So it appears that with the exception of the USA, most other countries
consider this a film suitable for young teenagers. The user comments
list at the IMDB -- -- also
indicates that a number of commentators seem rather disappointed that
this film will receive a limited audience in the United States simply
due to its rating. Reading between the lines there appears to be minor
speculation that perhaps the rating was due to the content,
specifically that of a young child questioning his gender, but as it
appears to be of an entirely non-sexual nature then I suspect that the
true reason is nothing more than the language reasons mentioned.

For far more information and discussion on this subject, you could
also visit

alluvialphil-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Good web research.  The international persective was interesting.  See
also my Note (From: alluvialphil-ga on 17 Jul 2002 00:45 PDT).  I
would save the fifth star for actually commenting based on having
actually seen the film.  But good answer.

Subject: Re: Film: Ma Vie en Rose, Rated R
From: wengland-ga on 16 Jul 2002 08:01 PDT
Simple.  It shows a boy cross dressing.  They used the 'strong
language' to cover this.  Just my opinion.
Subject: Re: Film: Ma Vie en Rose, Rated R
From: s_milberg-ga on 16 Jul 2002 08:19 PDT
Also, US ratings tend to be somewhat more squeamish than other
countries.  For instance, the MPAA rated Terminator 2 as R.  In
france, you could see the movie if you were over 12 at the time (I was
Subject: Re: Film: Ma Vie en Rose, Rated R
From: wantstoknow-ga on 16 Jul 2002 10:10 PDT
The f-word when used in a sexual sense and the female c-word are the
two words that when used once can lead to an R rating.  The f-word in
a nonsexual sense currently leads to an R rating when used more than

If the movie was rated R for brief, strong langage, it almost
certainly received its rating for use of the f-word:
Subject: Re: Film: Ma Vie en Rose, Rated R
From: mwalcoff-ga on 16 Jul 2002 10:31 PDT
Unlike the ratings system everywhere else in the world, the U.S.
system is secretive. There is no accountability for what the MPAA
does. The MPAA is run by a old Johnson Administration adviser named
Jack Valenti. There is no way to know that Valenti doesn't just sit
down by himself and make all the ratings. Any film with a remotely
left-wing or anti-establishment message gets an "R" rating. Most films
do. Sometimes, you'll pass a 12-screen multiplex, and only two films
won't have an "R" rating. In Canada, by comparison, only one or two
films would be rated "R." It's interesting to browse the IMDB and see
how vastly different U.S. ratings are compared to those elsewhere. No
one makes a big deal out of it because there is no organized interest
group that represents teenagers.
Subject: Re: Film: Ma Vie en Rose, Rated R
From: alluvialphil-ga on 17 Jul 2002 00:45 PDT
Obviously my question was somewhat rhetorical.  Officially, MPAA bases
its "R" rating of 'Ma Vie en Rose' on "Brief Strong Language," as was
pointed out by others.  I don't understand the French language, but
the only "offensive" language in the English subtitles is a pejorative
use of the word "Bent" (apparently vaguely meaning "gay.")  This film
has not an iota of even a reference to adult sexuality -- except
perhaps a raised eyebrow. Once. Literally. There is confict in this
movie, sure.  But the overall tone of Ma Vie en Rose is very (very)
light and positive.  (But the main character, a 7-year-old boy, feels
that he really was meant to be a girl.  This isn't, particularly, a
problem for him -- just for other characters in the film.  And
apparently for the MPAA.)

In terms of helping parents protect their children from inappropriate
material, MPAA would have been on stronger footing had they given
"Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" an "R" rating.  MOST kids films (including
the "G" films) have either something VERY scary or horrible happening
to someone and/or some horrible evil character intent on hurting a
character children relate to.  MPAA is out of its mind.  Basically
useless.  Worse, actually.  I totally ignored their ratings when
considering films for my pre-teen after realizing that MPAA allows its
ratings to be used to perpetuate bigotry, especially against sexual
minorities.  (And, by the way, the subtitled dialog in this film was
no problem for my 10 year old.)

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