Johnny Rotten once was asked what the Sex Pistols biopic Sid and Nancy got right about the doomed couple's real life bad romance. “Maybe the name Sid,” he sneered. The film is no less beloved for being questionably true — and let's be honest, Rotten spent much of 1978 drunk. Not on Champagne, he insisted, fingering his breakfast of bubbly and baked beans as one of the flick's inaccuracies.
But Sid and Nancy was never about him. It's a celebration and lamentation of punk-rock love, as spiky and self-destructive as a can of hairspray and a Zippo. When Gary Oldman's Sid Vicious slams his skull against a wall to convince teenage Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb) to give him his first hit of heroin, the film throbs with that dumb death wish of a kid who thinks he can't get hurt. We know he will, but we're no less hooked.
Kindly leave the drugs and screaming significant others at home when Sid and Nancy plays at the Crest Westwood on Tuesday, Oct. 28. The now-classic film deserves our awed and at least somewhat sober silence. And stick around for a post-screening discussion with five legendary scenesters who survived the era: rock photographers Edward Colver and Angela Boatwright, plus musicians Alice Bag, Tequila Mockingbird and Helen Killer — the latter of whom famously punched Vicious in the face. Punk isn't dead. It's just in the lobby getting popcorn.
SID AND NANCY | Crest Westwood, 1262 Westwood Blvd., Wstwd | Tue., Oct. 28, 8 p.m. | crestwestwood.com