I could have sworn I already posted this but know that there’s sadness in the sarcasm
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 and 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 that 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 70s London was back then. There was garbage piling up everywhere in the street. Everyone was unemployed. All the kids are 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 ages 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.
One of the scenes that I used to make fun of in Sid and Nancy was the young lovers phoning up Nancy’s mother with the good news that they had just gotten married. I thought it was a deficiency in the film that this scene always made me laugh my head off. There’s nothing worse than filming a really serious movie and laughing at it. What I never really realized was that Sid and Nancy is about the least serious movie ever made. So now I can just enjoy the sheer comedy of Nancy telling her mother that they don’t have much need for sheets as a wedding gift and that instead could she please go to the American Express office like right this second and send them some money or else they are going to fucking die. Treat Sid and Nancy like Spinal Tap and you realize that they’re pretty close to sequels of each other. If anything Johnny Rotten’s lyrics are even funnier then Christopher Guest’s. Sure Johnny wasn’t kidding but at least he had the decency to keep the wit in his declarations of “Go Fuck off” to the world.
So next time when you watch the movie. Don’t dwell on Nancy’s heroin tracks and the fact that she tells her mom quite accurately that she is about to die. This time enjoy a couple about half as intelligent as Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber and see what happens when you really are that dumb.
Nancy: She said we’d probably just use the money to buy drugs.
Sid: Well, we probably would.
Enjoy all the old men in bondage uniforms hanging by chains from the ceiling. Enjoy Johnny telling everyone he sees how much he despises them whether they be exercising rock stars or morons pitching him awful songs on the tour bus. Hey how about that great dinner scene with Nancy’s Grandparents?
My favorite line of the movie is somebody informing Sid that the reason that Johnny is all bandaged up is because “Johnny got beat up by fascists.” Sure he really did get beat up by fascist but maybe that just makes it that much funnier. Then some of the bored punks start discussing the pros and cons of becoming a fascist. The odd thing is that the more absurd the punks are the more they succeed in making all the straight people and the level they are offended look that much more ridiculous in comparison. These people were so offended by the group that when one of their songs went to number one they left the spot blank instead of acknowledging it. It’s not really that different over here and if you think about it “Cop Killer” and “Fuck the Police” are pretty damn similar to “God Save the Queen.” Should we have Chris Tucker star in a new movie on NWA?
Sure the final scenes of the Heroin fallout are sort of gruesome, but I chalk that up to New York being much more of a drag than swinging London. Heroin didn’t do half the damage of to Sid Vicious as Alex Cox does to the real menace of the English Punk movement.
When Johnny Rotten describes Sid Vicious in the Filth and the Fury he cries about the fact that he couldn’t do anything to save his dim friend, which makes me understand why Johnny Rotten doesn’t particularly like the movie Sid and Nancy much. Alex Cox takes all the danger of the times and plays it as high comedy. The beginning of Holidays in the Sun the first track on The Sex Pistols’ only album is the closest I’ve ever heard to the sheer fury and evil of Nazi Storm Troopers. Alex Cox successfully turned the whole thing into The Producers. So next time you’re at a party and you want to laugh at the hilarious thought of Chloe Webb screeching “Siiiiiiiiiiiddddd, what about the farewell drugs?” Laugh all you want because it’s all pretty damn funny stuff. Just don’t let someone who is 19 see you do it or they may just slit your throat.