RETHINKING “SID & NANCY”

I’m officially taking back everything I ever said about Chloe Webb. Hopefully, she will be happy to hear that wherever she is. The first 100 or so times I saw “Sid and Nancy” I thought to myself, “No one can really be that annoying in real life.” I have this habit of just being really annoyed when people play annoying characters. Everyone else will say, “Wow he or she really enveloped the core being of that character’s soul.” I just have a headache because I spent 90 minutes with some person conceived by Satan to make us all pay. It’s like when that chick Shelly Duvall played Olive Oyl – she said that she couldn’t go full on tilt Olive Oyl until the very end or else people would be tearing their eyes out by the time they had that boxing scene between Popeye and Bluto.

Recently I’ve been reading some books about the 70s Punk Movement and I just re-watched the movie about the Sex Pistols, The Filth and the Fury. From everything I can tell, Nancy Spungeon really was that stupid and annoying.

I looked up Sid and Nancy on the internet movie database and it said that the movie was a Romance-Drama. See, those morons at Blockbuster, as usual, don’t know a thing. “Sid & Nancy” is the best musical comedy of the last twenty five years. Sure it has the same structure as “Romeo and Juliet” and that isn’t often called high comedy, but if you forget for a second that despite the fact that it’s completely true and probably fairly accurate it’s pretty damn funny.

Go ahead, be offended that with two dead bodies on the table, I’m treating the whole thing like a Road Runner cartoon and laughing my ass off. I didn’t make this movie, I just understand it. Personally, I think Sid Vicious was a sad, foolish, pathetic dude that looked kind of cool. If I understand the myth properly, Sid as the ultimate Sex Pistols fan sort of lived up to all of Johnny Rotten’s lyrics. He was this kid with “no future,” “pretty vacant”, he was such an ultra fan that he became part of the band despite the fact that he couldn’t play the bass at all, which only made him that much more the perfect embodiment of what became the punk stereotype.

The sad thing was that Johnny Rotten wasn’t joking. He really did hate every one every bit as much as he said he did. Meanwhile, look at how insane late 70′s London was back then. There was garbage piling up everywhere in the street. Everyone was unemployed. All the kids were violent and wasting away on heroin. Perhaps this wouldn’t be a good place to make a movie almost as silly as Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but there you would be wrong. One of my favorite scenes in Grail is a shot of all these poor middle-aged people who aren’t smart enough to have anything better to do than hit mud puddles with a stick. Here, less than thirty years ago, Alex Cox sees a London where little school kids run the streets like wild animals smashing up car fenders with their lawn hockey sticks.

The way I figure it, this is about as good a romanticized version of a rock and roll myth as could be. Let’s forget that Sid and Nancy died by the time they were 22 or so. Let’s just say that Sid and Nancy, facing the fact that they weren’t ever going to really amount to anything, decided to just have a really good, over the top time for a really short while. So try to keep the idea of Nancy Spungeon’s carved up bloody body on the bathroom floor out of your head and enjoy the over the top fun that is Sid and Nancy.

The classic punk couple get goofed on some more in part two of RETHINKING “SID & NANCY”>>>




Posted on September 18, 2002 in Features by

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