Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Keep the Change

How do people learn how to interact with other people? Is it by imitation and seeing what works, and gradually getting better at picking the right thing to do? Is it by applying a process of logic in every situation? Most of us do it so naturally that we forget that we had to learn how at some point in our lives. Sometimes we feel like we were born knowing this stuff. Social interaction is such an intrinsic part of being human that people who have trouble with social interactions seem so alien.

In Keep the Change, David is a young autistic man who tries very hard to seem cool with his endless supply of jokes. He is supported by his rich parents but runs foul of the law by telling a pig joke to a New York policeman. The judge orders him to join an autism support group. He is utterly contemptuous of the weirdos. But finds himself paired up with the extrovertive Sarah who tells him that she finds him "really smoking hot, and so sexy".
With a cast of non-professional autistic actors (I hope they did get paid!), Keep the Change concentrates more on how these autistic people get on with each other rather than how they interact with non-weirdos. Which probably make this a more satisfying film.

It also shows New York as an onion. A little group of autistic people within the Jewish community, which, while big enough to have its own class hierarchy, is itself is a small group within the metropolis. All these groups can conduct their lives with little contact with the millions of other New Yorkers.

The film touches on the dangers of telling people that they are better than they really are and also the dangers of being honest with people who have delusions about themselves and their abilities, but it doesn't provide a solution to either issue.

And for those of us who do find dealling with other people a bit challenging from time to time, it reminds us that we can still have a life.

Did I tell you the story about the Jew who wanted a divorce because his wife joined the Police?


Ian's rating 3/5

No comments:

Post a Comment