Movie Review: ‘They Call Me Dr. Miami’

Initially set to have its world premiere at the Miami International Film Festival, “They Call Me Dr. Miami,” the latest film from Cargo Film & Releasing and Director Jean-Simon Chartier ( Playing Hard). Dr. Michael Salzhauer a.k.a. Dr. Miami is the most famous plastic surgeon in America, and the first doctor to stream graphic tummy tucks and breast augmentations to his over two million followers on Snapchat. In addition to being a social media superstar, Dr. Miami is also a husband, father of five, and a conservative Orthodox Jew who observes the Sabbath. “They Call Me Dr. Miami,” will have a limited run in Canada on May 14th, thanks to a partnership with Hot Docs on CBC and the Documentary Channel.

Dr. Salzhauer is an extremely complex subject, he hangs out with rappers, make obnoxious Snapchat videos, and he is a member of on the more restrictive religions in the country. It’s easy to imagine a devout Orthodox Jew being more interested in fixing cleft palates or helping burn victims than the butt lifts, lip injections, and breast implants often associated with his profession. However, Dr. Miami is one of the country’s leading purveyors of the Brazilian Butt Lift. The film follows him through all aspects of his life, long days at the office, frequent trips to his synagogue, arguing with his kids, worrying about his patients, fighting for his livelihood, and discussing his own cosmetic surgeries.

Though he may come off self-centered and that he celebrates what some consider the lesser side of his profession, it is clear that Dr. Salzhauer cares for his patients. Worrying about them when necessary, never talking them into procedures they didn’t want or need, and despising clinics who don’t take patient health seriously. “They Call Me Dr. Miami” starts off loud, vibrant, and fun, but it labors trying to maintain that momentum. At times when the doctor is struggling to come up with new content, the movie struggles along with him. The film also suffers from too many ingredients. Salzhauer lives such a varied life it is hard to capture it all in one sitting without leaving some elements underexposed. “They Call Me Dr. Miami” could serve as a launching point for Dr. Miami and Jean-Simon Chartier because it would work better as a series than it does as a one-off.

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