When the opportunity arose to watch They Call Me Dr. Miami, I jumped on it faster than a half-price BBL. Dr. Miami has always been one of the most fascinating people on the internet to me. I added him on Snapchat when I was around 15 or 16 just to watch him perform plastic surgery despite having zero interest in getting any. His outlook on life has always been so interesting, in how he puts patients first, but documents them in a very unique way. This documentary explores his relationship with his family, his devotion to being an Orthodox Jew, and what it takes to be the most talked-out plastic surgeon in the world.
Director Jean-Simon Chartier has great attention to detail in this documentary. He captures exactly what we need to be viewing at all times. Snapchat videos of Dr. Miami and his staff/patients are intertwined into the story to show what he’s known for online. A mixed-media format is informative yet entertaining throughout the whole 78-minute runtime. We’re told so much about Dr. Miami, aka Michael Salzhauer, from a light that’s never been explored before with him. The world just knows him as a plastic surgeon who posts his surgeries online, but what’s captivating about They Call Me Dr. Miami is how we’re let into his life to see how much of a down-to-earth and genuine guy he is. He’s very much a family man, with extreme dedication to his five kids.
Salzhauer sits and talks to the camera about himself, his life, and how he feels about doing his job. He constantly reflects on his life choices, and if he were young again, what he would change. He jokes about how he’d want to be taller if he could go back in time and get surgery for longer legs (which yes, is a real thing). The way he posts his job online sometimes conflicts with his home life and religion. His family supports his job, but not the way he glamorizes plastic surgery when posting content online constantly. Salzhauer can balance spending time with his family, dedicating himself to being Jewish, and his job, so he sees no issue. He’s an aspirational man from many angles. Religion for him is always first.
His wife explains how she has had no plastic surgery herself and doesn’t ever want any. For a wife of a man who prides himself on changing the body for the better, their relationship seems extremely healthy and beautiful for her to still not believe she needs anything done for him to love her. He believes his work is to enhance the body’s natural beauty rather than making it worse. This is where home life and work life contradict each other: the body should already have this natural beauty and not have anything done to it.
For a man who’s the most sung about plastic surgeon in the world, this is an insightful documentary on how much of a caring man he is. He cares about his patients on many levels, and he cares about the business he’s in. People fly to Miami just to see Dr. Miami. Many people in the business in America do it to make money, but you can tell that he has a genuine passion for trying to make people happier. One quote that’s stuck with me was on a painting of Dr. Miami which said, “MAKE BUTTS NOT WAR”. And you know what, I agree.
They Call Me Dr. Miami is playing February 14th through March 24th as part of the Jewish International Film Festival. For more information, visit the festival’s website.
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