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Red Hook, New York
Body/Soul | Local culture | Soft news
16 August 2020 09:11PM
Emily Sachar

Those April 2019 sightings of comedian Amy Schumer shopping in Rhinebeck weren’t just an off-screen getaway. For 15 minutes, 20 seconds, Schumer’s three-week stay at the Waterfall House ahead of the birth of son Gene, figures in Expecting Amy, the three-part docuseries about her insanely challenged pregnancy.

The series dropped on HBO Max in July. The Rhinebeck sequence runs in Episode 3 and starts 35 minutes in; it runs just over 15 minutes.

“After a special or a movie or anything comes out, I kinda wanna hide,” Schumer says on-camera, explaining her choice to spend Weeks 34-36 at the stylish contemporary on 26 acres that rents for $2,000 a night on Airbnb.

We see her mom, Sandra, sentimentally preparing to be a grandma; her husband, chef Chris Fischer, urinating into the Landsman Kill River; and the couple doing jigsaw puzzles while their adorable black dog licks Amy’s baby bump. During a soulful walk at Poet’s Walk, we also see Amy chewing over how long she’ll breast-feed. Two months? Two years? she whispers to the viewer, seemingly horrified at the thought.

It’s all so cheeky and honest, making me want to bonk the fat-shamers who ridiculed Amy’s Rhinebeck visit on the Hudson Valley News Facebook page last year.

Filmed in part on phones by Schumer and Fischer, and directed and edited by Alexander Hammer, Expecting Amy is unadulterated exposure. Schumer vomits, gives blood, and moans. Fischer describes his first experience giving perineal massage (to Amy). The viewer sits in on sonograms and business meetings where Schumer — yes, again — vomits, this time into a pail. That’s one way to clear the room, she notes with sardonic wit.

The camera captures the suction pumps attached to her breasts postpartum, and even, for a second, reveals her internal reproductive organs while her baby is born by Cesarean section.

All of which makes clear that the Rhinebeck quarter-hour is the prettiest part of the whole thing.

PHOTOS by Amy Schumer and Chris Fischer

1 Amy discussing breast-feeding with husband Chris Fischer at Poet’s Walk

2 Another moment at Poet’s Walk

3 The couple with Nancey, a certified nurse midwife, as she discusses Braxton-Hicks contractions

4 Chris urinates into the Landsman Kill River

5 A solemn moment as Amy looks onto the river at The Waterfall House

6 Amy in a weepy moment, comforted by Chris

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