OMG! You will not recognize the hottest man in Hollywood, Matthew McConaughey. Gone was the gorgeous man from ‘Magic Mike!’ What happened to his fab abs and ripped bod?! Gone. He looked so disturbingly skinny. He dropped 38 pounds for the role. I’m going to say it. He looked flat out ugly. I feel bad for saying that, but it’s true. Throughout the film, I forgot that it was Matthew on the screen. Jared Leto was also a shocker. He played a rail thin transgender woman. He nailed it! He and Matthew had great chemistry on the screen.
This is a story that needed to be told. Rumor has it that it was the one AIDS movie no one wanted to make. It was a moving and raw film about one man’s fight with the FDA after being blindsided by an H.I.V. positive diagnosis. It’s the real life tale of a Texan electrician and rodeo cowboy, Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey). It all took place in the mid-80s when AIDS slowly crept into the picture. Ron was handed a death sentence by a doctor after he got into an electrical accident that landed him in the hospital. It was the news that no one ever wanted to hear in their lifetime. He tested positive for H.I.V. and given 30 days to live. He refused to let the virus take him down.
Ron started to dig for more information about the disease and armed himself with knowledge. His crash course on medicine and drugs led him to Mexico, the best place for unapproved drugs. He smuggled “drugs” and supplements that improved his health. Many doctors including his own Dr. Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner) disapproved of his unconventional fight to live with the deadly virus. But he didn’t care. He took these “drugs” into the streets of the gay community. He enlisted the help of Rayon (Jared Leto) to help him get the word out and sell it. Homosexuals at the time were the primary group affected by the H.I.V. virus.
Ron knew he was doing something illegal. So, he wised up and started a “buyers club” where people pay him big bucks to join it. The membership offered free alternative treatments for the virus. It was a smart idea because technically he wasn’t dealing drugs. And this took the government off his back for a bit. But it didn’t take long for the FDA to start knocking on this door. And that was when things got messy. Ron’s club started falling apart at the seams. He started accumulating debt. His business partner Rayon had a powerful emotional scene with his/her dad when s/he went to ask for money to help Ron out. It was evident that her/his dad didn’t approve of her/his homosexuality. It was heartbreaking. I held it together throughout the film until that part of the movie. I lost it. I melted into a puddle of tears.
This film sparked an interesting conversation about the FDA and how it managed the drug companies. It was clear they were not working in the best interest of the public. They were just looking to cash in. It’s scary to know that. Who’s really fighting for the little guy? It certainly opened my eyes. They are the gatekeepers to your health. Yet, they’re not on your side. That’s one huge dose of reality. I hope the FDA has changed the way they regulate since then.
You can join the “Dallas Buyers Club” on November 1. Runs 117 mins. Rated R