Amy Schumer: Emergency Contact 2023 Movie Review
September 28, 2023

Amy Schumer: Emergency Contact 2023 Movie Review

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Amy Schumer: Emergency Contact 2023 Movie Review

Netflix viewers just saw Schumer a year ago hosting a comedy special from Los Angeles, but that was a showcase (Amy Schumer Presents: Parental Advisory) loosely based around family themes and not-so family-friendly jokes.

And it was a busy 2022 for Schumer, as she co-hosted that year’s Oscars (having to address the audience immediately following The Slap), created and starred in Life & Beth on Hulu, revived Inside Amy Schumer for a new season on Paramount+, and in November made her third appearance as guest host on Saturday Night Live. All of that, plus her “Whore Tour,” which ran through the second half of the year and produced this special, not named Whore, for perhaps obvious reasons once you watch it and realize she’s joking more about not having sex these days.

Schumer opens her set by finding that young woman in the crowd, and upon learning her age, asks the rest of her audience: “Remember 27?” That launches a sequence of jokes poking fun at the comedian’s own lifestyle now at 42, which include not being able to drink like she used to and settling for orthopedic sneakers as her “heels.”

While Schumer has no desire to hear who other people think she looks like now, she’s more than willing to take self-deprecating jabs at herself.

She then ups the ante by mocking not only her own looks, but also the people responsible for her look, at multiple points asking the camera operator to zoom in on her face to illustrate why she doesn’t think she should’ve put so much makeup on her cheeks, then later to reveal a hump below the back of her neck. Schumer also has a solid observation on lasers, juxtaposing the act-out of heist movies avoiding them with how she has leaned into them with her face for cosmetic purposes. She also cops to getting liposuction, only to gain the weight back “in record time,” joking what this reveals about her: “I would rather have major surgery than be a little hungry once.”

She doesn’t feel a need to weigh in unnecessarily on the state of stand-up, compared to many of her peers, choosing simply to make fun of anyone describing it as dangerous by imagining herself “on the front lines every night.” Nobody is attempting to tackle Schumer onstage. “My people are like me. We’re tired.”

Her biggest observational set-piece revolves around marriage, and reaching the five-year mark herself, Schumer believes the key is simply finding someone who can stand you, despite all your flaws. Which, of course, means someone who can be your (title incoming) emergency contact.

Those Baldwin quips might make for great headlines across the Internet, but if you’ve been following Schumer as a fan, or even if you swap out Schumer for another favorite stand-up, you cannot help but watch some of their more recent Netflix specials and come away feeling as if they’re merely contractual obligations and not, in fact, special.

And considering how much other comedy material Schumer had written and focused on already in the past couple of years for her two TV shows, SNL appearance and the Oscars, perhaps it was too much to expect her to deliver a completely brand-new hour of jokes on top of all of that.

Heck, one of her jokes in this set — imagining her retort to her husband for wanting the lights off during sex — recycles one of Schumer’s oldest bits. As she told NPR back in 2015, the bit with the punchline “oh, my God, you’re so cute, you think I don’t want you to see me,” was “one of the earliest (bits).” For folks who haven’t been watching Schumer’s previous specials or performances, she also revisits what it’s like to have an autistic husband, as well as her ill-fated decision to try to name her son after comedian Dave Attell.

To be fair, I’ve seen other comedians recycle or remix old bits for new narrative arcs; among them, Mike Birbiglia, who has aptly plucked previous punchlines for fodder when he pivoted from joke-teller to storyteller.

Still, all of this lends an air of transition (or rebuilding year, as they’d say in sports) to this special. Much like how bands in a record deal have to keep putting out new albums, I can imagine finding out years from now that that’s what this was for Schumer. Simply a statement and reminder to comedy fans that she’s still out here.

Amy Schumer: Emergency Contact 2023 Movie Review