Dallas Buyers Club: An Interesting Look At The AIDS Epidemic

27 Sep

Dallas Buyers Club, directed by Jean-Marc Valee

Dallas Buyers Club is about a man named Ron Woodruff (Matthew McCaughney in an Oscar-winning performance) who finds out he is HIV positive. At first, he refuses to believe that it’s true. He thinks the doctor is lying to him. Ron is heterosexual. AIDS was thought of in the 1980’s as a disease that only homosexuals got. After he does some research, Ron finds out that he got AIDS from having unprotected sex and by using intravenous drugs.

Matthew McCaughney as Ron Woodruff in Dallas Buyers Club

Matthew McCaughney as Ron Woodruff in Dallas Buyers Club

When he first finds out he has AIDS, Ron is homophobic. He is also a jerk to almost everyone he meets. His friends start treating him differently because of his illness. When he meets Rayon (Jared Leto in an Oscar-winning performance), another AIDS patient, his view on homosexuals changes a little bit. My favorite part was when Rayon and Ron played cards together in the hospital after they met for the first time. Rayon gives Ron a leg massage because Ron’s legs cramp up. I also liked the part where Ron and Rayon are shopping at the grocery store and Ron runs into his former friend. He introduces his former friend to Rayon, and insists that he shake Rayon’s hand. Ron’s former friend refuses to shake Rayon’s hand, but eventually does what Ron asked him to do. Ron’s former friend was acting homophobic towards Rayon.

Ron finds out that AZT, the drug the doctors and nurses give to AIDS patients, does not work well. He does research to find out where he can buy drugs that work better than AZT. He goes to Mexico to bring back pharmaceutical drugs that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These drugs work better than AZT. Eventually, Ron teams up with Rayon to distribute the drugs to other AIDS patients. Their business operation works well and they have many clients. When Ron has a heart attack, his doctor Dr. Sevard (Denis O’Hare) finds out about the club. The FDA comes after Ron and threatens to arrest him if he doesn’t stop what he’s doing. Dr. Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner) agrees with Ron that AZT doesn’t work effectively and that other drugs might help AIDS patients better. Earlier in the film, she warned her boss Dr. Sevard that there were negative effects of AZT; she told him to shut down his AZT clinical trials, but he refused.

Jared Leto and Matthew McCaughney in Dallas Buyers Club

Jared Leto and Matthew McCaughney in Dallas Buyers Club

Rayon dies of AIDS. Both Ron and Eve are upset by Rayon’s death. Eve tells Ron that Rayon was a drug user. I almost cried when Rayon died. Rayon was such an interesting character. Rayon was a transgender woman. Ron and Eve were Rayon’s friends. Ron and Eve became friends as well.

Ron files a lawsuit against the FDA. Ron wanted to change FDA drug regulations. Everyone cheers for him even though he lost the case. When the film ends, we are told that the FDA allowed Ron to take Peptide T for his personal use. We also find out that Ron died in 1992, which was seven years after he was diagnosed with HIV. When he first found out he was HIV positive, the doctors told him that that he had only 30 days to live.

I thought Dallas Buyers Club was a good movie. I can understand why Matthew McCaughney won a Best Actor trophy for his performance. He lost a lot of weight to portray Ron Woodruff. Matthew McCaughney elicited a lot of sympathy as Ron Woodruff. I thought Jared Leto was great as Rayon. He also lost a ton of weight. He was unrecognizable because he was playing a woman and was wearing dresses and makeup. I can understand why he won a Supporting Actor award; his character Rayon takes away Ron’s homophobia. Jennifer Garner was also good as Eve. I think she should have been nominated for a Supporting Actress Oscar. Dallas Buyers Club has a lot of sex and profanity.

I recommend Dallas Buyers Club for fans of biopics. Sometimes a biopic is better if you don’t know anything about the person it’s based on. I knew nothing about Ron Woodruff. I also recommend Dallas Buyers Club to fans of dramatic films. I would give Dallas Buyers Club a B, because it was a pretty good movie, but it wasn’t great.


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