It's the story of Ron Woodroof, (played by an almost unrecognisable Matthew McConaughey) a red neck, homophobic Texan electrician & rodeo guy who contracted HIV through intravenous drug use & unprotected sex with prostitutes. He was given 30 days to live by the doctors.
At the time, mid 80's, AZT was the only known drug available for treating HIV positive patients and unfortunately it was still in the testing stages. Ron refused to accept the prognosis and started learning about his condition as well as other treatments available in other countries. He was able to exploit a loophole in the law of the time which allowed terminally ill patients to import drugs from other countries and set up a buyers club. This brought him into contact with a transvestite, Rayon - a fantastic performance by Jared Leto - with whom he forms a tentative and unlikely friendship.
Image via http://www.unnomdeguerre.com
Given the subject matter, it's actually quite an uplifting and even life affirming film. Matthew McConaughey's intelligent, nervy performance makes the film. If he doesn't win an Oscar for it, frankly there's no justice in the world.
It's by no means a perfect film. It's very long and could easily have cut twenty minutes of unnecessary scenes. Jennifer Garner as a sympathetic doctor was all cliche and surface which jarred against the moving performances from McConaughey & Leto.
Definite recommendation from me though if you want something a little different from the standard gaming inspired/rom com/action movie fare.