Dallas Buyers Club is a well acted film, but it’s also a conventional redemption story of a straight guy saving hapless homosexuals.

Loosely based on the true-life tale of Ron Woodroof, a drug taking, women loving, homophobic man who, in 1985 was diagnosed with full blown HIV/AIDS and given thirty days to live.

Matthew McConaughey resurrects his career with a string of performances, which includes a scrawny Texas Cowboy in the Dallas Buyers Club. His character’s introduction is a snapshot of the rest of the film – hookers, shady deals, and persistence.

On the other hand, as the film focuses on its anti-hero’s redemption, the Dallas Buyers Club becomes a biopic with a conventional plot. Woodroof battles big Pharma and “stick it to the man” aided by a sassy gay friend sidekick. The supporting characters were good with what they’re given, but were cast aside and used for his transformation. He still has a penchant for booze and hookers, but becomes a less homophobic and drugged scoundrel with a purpose.

His relentless drive to sustain his business built around people that once made his balls recede is amusing, but takes away from what could have been a much more compelling story – a look into the early history of HIV/AIDS and the community created by the Dallas Buyers Club.

The Dallas Buyers Club manages to shine thanks to McConaughey and serves as a good story of the endurance of the human spirit, but could have been a better period piece.

My Rating: 7/10

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