Dallas Buyers Club is a rare example of a movie where the performances almost entirely make the film. Without the strong performances from Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, and the underrated Jennifer Garner, I have a feeling Dallas Buyers Club wouldn’t be showing in more than 500 theaters. Dallas Buyers Club is far from bad (it’s quite good) but its screenplay takes the blame for the inconsistent pacing and sometimes confusing moments.
After being diagnosed with HIV, the drug addicted, homophobic, sex-crazed rodeo cowboy Ron Woodruff is given 30 days to live. He almost dies from taking the FDA approved AZT so he begins to smuggle unapproved medications from around the world. He forms the Dallas Buyers Club which provides people with the unapproved medications at a monthly cost. When this interferes with hospital studies, the drug companies have no choice but to put an end to the Dallas Buyers Club.
With a fascinating story, Dallas Buyers Club keeps you entertained and engaged for the full two hours. The film was “inspired” by actual events and the screenwriters get credit for using the story to their advantage. They provided many great character moments which came with some great dialogue. Unfortunately, that just about ends my praise for the screenplay.
Dallas Buyers Club was very inconsistent with its pacing. The movie takes its time on a few different occasions but breezes past a few plot elements that could’ve been elaborated on. This resulted in some confusion. I shouldn’t have had to piece together as much as I did in this mostly straightforward story.
One of my favorite parts of Dallas Buyers Club was the chemistry between Matthew McConaughey’s Ron Woodruff and Jared Leto’s Rayon (Ron’s partner in crime and transvestite). This brilliant partnership’s relationship was not only rushed in its early stages but more of their back and forth would’ve been preferable as it’s one of the film’s highlights for sure.
What’s also a highlight are these outstanding performances. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto absolutely nail their performances. Oscar nominations are in their future and they well deserve it. They capture the emotion and convey their dialogue flawlessly which is tough to do many times throughout the film.
While the guys steal the show, a strong female performance is given by Jennifer Garner. I know what you’re thinking. McConaughey and Garner made another movie together and it’s not Ghosts of Girlfriends Past 2. I’m disappointed too but don’t let that take you out of the film, especially since she is so great here. She’s not given a whole lot to do in this film but she takes what she’s given and goes above and beyond what’s expected. It’s a shame she gets overshadowed by the two male leads as she deserves some serious credit here.
The screenplay leaves a lot to be desired but Dallas Buyers Club is a very good time at the cinema thanks to great performances by McConaughey, Leto, and Garner and an interesting story that translated well to the big screen. It might not be worth $10 to see in theaters but it’s worthy of your time when it comes out on Blu-ray.