Review: In ‘Keep the Change,’ Two People With Autism Find Love

Photo Brandon Polansky and Samantha Elisofon in “Keep the Change,” directed by Rachel Israel. Credit Kino Lorber

This is a landmark motion picture — a movie about people living with autism in which all of the characters who have autism are portrayed by nonprofessional performers who also have it. The problem with thirtysomething David (Brandon Polansky) is that he doesn’t think he has a condition of any kind. His occasional anxious fits of wheezing he puts down to allergies, and he’s not at all self-conscious about the staggeringly offensive jokes he tells at the wrong time to the wrong people. A pig joke told to a cop has gotten him arrested and sentenced to spend time with a support group of other people with autism. He’s at first completely contemptuous.


Trailer: ‘Keep the Change’

A preview of the film.

By KINO LORBER on Publish Date March 6, 2018. .

He’s particularly annoyed by Sarah (Samantha Elisofon), with whom he is given a homework assignment that obliges them to visit the Brooklyn Bridge together. Sarah has a winning and nearly constant smile and a startling openness. The film, written and directed by Rachel Israel, respects these characters by portraying their whole, unfiltered selves.

In many respects the romance that develops between David and Sarah is like a conventional one. There’s even an “it’s not you, it’s me” conversation. The movie grows more moving as David gets real with himself about his own loneliness, and his rich parents’ bigotry and denial. (The parents are played by the veteran actors Jessica Walter and Tibor Feldman, and they work well with Mr. Polansky and Ms. Elisofon.) “Keep the Change” is not a seamlessly crafted movie, but it’s awfully tenderhearted and thoroughly disarming. It deserves to be widely seen.

Keep the Change

NYT Critic’s Pick

Director Rachel Israel

Writer Rachel Israel

Stars Jessica Walter, Christina Brucato, Evander Duck Jr., Sondra James, Tibor Feldman

Running Time 1h 34m

Genres Comedy, Romance

Movie data powered by IMDb.comLast updated: Mar 15, 2018 Continue reading the main story