Friday, March 7, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

If you don't want to know more about the reality of the Dallas Buyers Club until you've seen the film, then hold off on reading this post.

Our good friend Pickleope made a very important comment about my review of the movie (which you can read HERE):

It's a good movie, but it's problematic. They gloss over the fact 

that the very drug he was fighting against, AZT, was 

effective once adjusted for human consumption (the reason 

scientists have no choice but to do human trials) and is one of the 

real reasons that people with HIV/AIDS are living longer. They 

didn't know to cut the dosage in half back at the beginning. But 

thanks to their trials, they do now. 

And the main character, Ron Woodruff, they make out to seem 

like a good-ol-boy homophobe who comes around to be gay-

friendly. But there are differing accounts between friends of 

Woodruff and his biographer

. Who knows which account is true?

The depiction in the movie of him as a homophobe creates the

 issue of the message being that gay people needed the benevolent

heterosexual to save the poor, Aids-stricken gays. It undercuts all

the hard work of the gay community in elevating themselves.

It's not to say Woodruff and his story doesn't matter. His struggle

 mattered. He was one of the many Aids sufferers who fought 

against persecution to bring attention to the plight of what was 
called "the gay disease". He was frustrated at the system and 

being marginalized. That, the movie got oh so right. But he was a 

self-aggrandizing opportunist. It doesn't mean it negates 

everything he did. It's just a lot more nuanced than the movie 

leads you to believe. Damn, I'm long-winded.

Short summary: Good movie, but calling it a true story does a

 disservice to the real and big picture of the story. Great acting,

 though, quite amazing.

A good summary:
Sorry for pontificating, but everyone has one of those things that 
touches something within.

Pickleope, I don't see you as a pontificating, nor do you need to

apologize. I have pointed out in the past that a movie purported to 

be a true story or based on a true story may not have a particle of

truthiness in it. I should have said so when I reviewed Dallas 

Buyers Club.

No such person as Rayon (Jared Leto) existed. Ron Woodroof 

(Matthew McConaughey) hung out with gay men all the time and 

probably was not homophobic. In fact, some of his friends think he

might have had relationships with other men.

This is what the real Ron Woodroof looked like as the disease took 

its toll on him:

Also, I found this amusing video about the Dallas Buyers Club and economics:

So please keep in mind that Dallas Buyers Club is a great movie, in my opinion, but it's not entirely true. You can learn more about the real Ron Woodroof simply by Googling him.

For me, the story is important and I'm glad it was told because of the lack of reaction to the AIDS crisis when it began. It supposedly was a scourge gay men brought on themselves by sinning. If the lead character in this film were gay, I suspect the story might not have made it to the big screen. Remember Soderbergh's movie about Liberace that ended up on HBO?

Thank you, Pickleope, and Gentle Readers, please educate yourselves if you want to discuss the early days of AIDS and the lack of treatment. Don't cite facts based on what you see in Dallas Buyers Club.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


  1. I read the first sentence of your post and quit reading, but will come back to it after we see the movie~

    1. Great! I have a video in the post with some clips from the movie and some revelations about it.

  2. Good points from both of you, Janie. I appreciate the extra info.

  3. Funny but I don't fancy this one.......

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, Beth. You are such a gracious visitor.

  5. Like Shelly, I'll postpone reading this blog until after I've seen the movie.

  6. I've heard a lot of good things about this movie, but we haven't seen it yet. Thanks for the extra info... and discussion. I suppose we really should take every so-called movie with a shaker full of salt.

    Happy weekend!

  7. The only thing I can disagree with on is saying I'm not a pontificator. Your point about the movie highlighting how society generally disregarded the Aids crisis is very true. Don't get me wrong, it is a good movie, but like you say, maybe movies based on a true story need to have a pie chart or graph showing just how much is true. See? There I go, bloviating all over your blog again.

    1. Hyde Park On Hudson really irritated me, with Franklin Roosevelt getting out of his wheelchair and propelling himself around by holding onto furniture. That movie was really a load of crap and not as well made as Dallas Buyers Club.

  8. People too often take movies as truth. I blame the schools for all this playing of movies in class. ;)

    "Based on" can be 10% or 90% truth--LOL! I would hope these days a lot more people search the internet to find the rest of the story or at least don't take movies as gospel truth. Even documentaries can be slanted. None of that diminishes my inherent love of movies. :)

  9. I hate all that movies in school stuff, but I know why teachers do it. They're sick of the kids and want to use up time, especially if they have to contend with block scheduling and a single class last about 90 minutes. The kids gets so restless.

  10. So it is like a lot of "true stories" partly true partly Hollywood true...............

  11. Hi Janie - at least the film informed us ... not 100% perhaps, but opened our eyes to possibilities ... it does sound an interesting film .. and with his Oscar no doubt many will see the film, which is probably a good thing. I hope to get there at some stage ..

    Cheers Hilary


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