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How to Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days (1983)

| Comedy | TV Movie
A kid strives to be perfect, and in the end realizes that individuality is more fun.


Bruce Harmon, Stephen Manes (novel)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Wallace Shawn ... Professor Silverfish
Ilan Mitchell-Smith ... Milo Crimpley
Hermione Gingold ... Miss Sandwich
Sarah Boyd ... Jenny Hillard
Kate McGregor-Stewart ... Mrs. Crimpley
Lenny von Dohlen ... Erik Crimpley
Ned Boyd Ned Boyd ... Frankie Crimpley
B.J. Barie B.J. Barie ... Norbert Sandhill
John Rothman ... Contest Judge
Joey Ginza Joey Ginza ... Mr. Yamata
Jodi Long ... Mrs. Yamata
Merwin Goldsmith ... Principal
Seth Greenspan Seth Greenspan ... Mark
Tenney Walsh Tenney Walsh ... Andrea
Cassandra Murray Cassandra Murray ... Agnes


A kid strives to be perfect, and in the end realizes that individuality is more fun.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Perfection isn't all it's cracked up to be.



Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Filming Locations:

Larchmont, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Highgate Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (short)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?

Alternate Versions

A 30-minute edit was distributed to schools and libraries on 16mm film. See more »


Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Cute movie for the younger kids. (minor spoilers)
8 July 2004 | by vertigo_14See all my reviews

PBS's "Wonderworks" series must've been an "After School Special" for younger kids. "How to Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days" deals with the issue of self-esteem. Another one, "Necessary Parties" (featuring a very young Mark-Paul Gosselar) addressed kid's and the issue of divorce, for example. They were nice little productions reminiscent of those Saturday afternoon short-movies that Nickelodean used to produce in Canada (what the heck happened to those?!).

This is a movie based on the novel, "How to Be a Perfect in Just Three Days." A very young Ilan-Mitchell Smith ("Weird Science", "The Chocolate War") stars as accident prone Milo Crimpley, something that seems to have gotten worse over time. Milo is made to be like that Beverly Cleary chariacature of imperfection, one that is comical, though a little exaggerated.

Milo, however, finds an opportunity to get rid of embarrassing accident-prone nature when he stumbles across an advertisement from Professor Silverfish (the hilarious Wallace Shawn), who has a sort of seminar on "How to Be a Perfect in Just Three Days." So, Milo signs up.

Basically, it is just a test in self-esteem, though Milo expects to be an absolutely perfect kid. Silverfish's little three day assignments are meant to make Milo a bolder person, one with will power, and one who is willing to accept challenges when he doubts his abilities most. In actuality, the assignments are just intended to get Milo to accept himself. Because, as Silverfish says: "Why would anyone want to be perfect, anyway? You can't do anything wrong. So, then you don't do anything."

It isn't a horribly corny movie, and it is a rather funny one for younger kids who might be able to appreciate it, despite the dated appearance.

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