How a film can both represent emotionally and physically
Movies are made to represent what we want to see in the world. Beginning in the Golden Era of Movies, with glamorous men and women falling in love in beautiful dresses and suits to now, where the accurate and deeply true representation of our everyday life is finding its place in American cinema. However, in previous conversations on vitalxchange, representation of those on the spectrum, however rising, is still not done well or accurately. It represents one version of Autism, one side of the experience. And most of the time, the actors representing characters on the spectrum are neurotypical.
Keep the Change is a welcome refresh in the world of representational media. Originally a short film, this feature is a simple New York love story about people on the spectrum played by people on the spectrum.
Writer/Director Rachel Israel consistently shows how two people can unexpectantly fall in love; but their story is not grand or filled with huge scenes of floating waltzes and champagne. Instead, the movie is a series of moments between the couple, that feel real and situations that everyone has been in. The first dinner party when your new partner meets the family, the first date where things go a bit awkward, and the first time when you are intimate. Rather than portraying people on the spectrum as incapable of real change or independence, or as geniuses in hiding, these characters are just normal people trying to find their way in the world.
The central couple, Sarah and David, meet in a group at the Jewish Community Center, where David is forced to attend sessions. They are assigned to visit the Brooklyn Bridge, at David’s dismay, and the two find themselves deeply attracted and interested in each other. They face an uphill battle; how to interact with David’s demanding and judgmental mother, Sarah’s former boyfriends, and the social expectations surrounding the two of them.
Keep the Change is a delight; funny and heartfelt with a story that feels real at every moment. Not one scene shows something outside of the reality of the human experience, and Israel shows what major life-changing moments are, not that big and only important in retrospect.
Rating: NR (A few swear words and dirty jokes, one mild sex scene. So be careful around the kids!) Genre: Comedy Runtime: 94 minutes Score: 3.75/5