Friday, 24 May 2013

Side By Side

'Side By Side' is pretty poor, a collection of unsubtly stuck together bits of comic schtick and hoary old music hall routines interspersed with terrible music from the very worst the 1975 UK pop industry had to offer (yes, Kenny, I do mean you). That said, it's unpretentious and silly and, although I can't say that it has its moments, it doesn't make me want to smash the telly in with a platform boot.

It stars dear old Terry-Thomas (not long off retirement due to ill health) and future Ronald McDonald Billy Boyle as rivals who own adjacent clubs, one variety, one 'rock'. When a jobsworth copper (Frank 'Captain Peacock' Thornton) reports them for various infringements, an ancient town charter is unearthed that states the town should only have one place of entertainment, so the rivals have to prove which club is the best and should have their licence renewed . I'm not going to say any more, as the plot takes third place to broad humour, slapstick and, yes, fucking Kenny - twice - so I'll skip about an hour and say it all works out in the end, as a riot knocks down the dividing wall between the two establishments and they learn to live 'side by side'. Yep, and that story took two people to write.

The music is uniformly terrible, and although its nice to see Mud drummer Dave Mount in an acting role, it's never explained why he spends most of his time working in a shitty club under an assumed name, even when Mud turn up and he starts playing the drums for them. The best bit is a strip tease and bullwhip display from sexy Jennifer Guy, and even that is ruined by the presence of Barry Humphries, who genuinely makes my skin crawl (especially here when he blacks up and sings a song about a 'chocolate covered c**n').

So, not great, but what can you expect from a film starring Stephanie 'I Was Born With A Smile On My Face' De Sykes. Altogether now: 'la la la la la la la, la la la la la la la la la', etc. Still smiling?

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