Movie identification filter: vegetable necklace edition
June 15, 2017 9:01 AM   Subscribe

When I was in grade school in the eighties, we were shown a strange movie. The main story was centered around a young man who was kind of a loser. He wanted to improve himself and his life, to become awesome and have lots of friends and stuff. He embarked on some dodgy self-improvement program. Step One: attend school wearing a large piece of veg on a string around the neck. This is the most memorable part of the story. It was like, a whole head of broccoli, or, an entire celery or something.

Our hero goes to school, as instructed, wearing a giant ridiculous veggie as a necklace. Presumably as a confidence-building exercise. I think what happened next was that he sparked a fad and everyone started wearing veg around their necks. It was weird. That's all I can remember.

Is this real? Was it a fever dream? This description may be heavily distorted by thirty years of irresponsible behavior.

I've been thinking about this for years, but can't seem to concoct the right search terms to turn anything up. Veggie Necklace Guy has been on my mind because of some recent personal experiences in Appearing Ridiculous in Public in which No Fucks were Given. Can you help me find him?
posted by vortex genie 2 to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
is it how to be a perfect perosn in 3 days?. the related book apparently involves wearing broccoli.
posted by annabear at 9:05 AM on June 15 [10 favorites]

Seconding Anna Bear. I remember the book, have never seen the movie, but the broccoli necklace has stuck with me.
posted by cosmicbandito at 9:20 AM on June 15

Confirming that it was the How Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days movie and I can almost guarantee that he wore the broccoli necklace in the movie.
posted by annaramma at 9:46 AM on June 15 [1 favorite]

Thanks, folks!

I think How to be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days is indeed the movie I saw. It was a PBS adaptation made in 1983, based on the book titled Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days! by Stephen Manes.

In the book, the broccoli necklace was Dr. K. Pinkerton Silverfish's assignment for the first day of the program: Take a piece of broccoli and tie a piece of string to the end. In the morning, put the string around your neck and wear it for 24 hours. From what I understand, the other two days' assignments escalate the ridiculousness, and the lesson is that no one is perfect, so be yourself. The protagonist is called Milo and I'm truly sorry I said he was a loser.

Information and clips of the movie adaptation are pretty thin on the ground. I did find a few clips compiled here, be prepared for Goofy Slapstick Sound Effects, but this gives an idea of the aesthetic, which is consistent with my memories.

Searching Youtube turns up some video book reports (I guess that's a thing?). They're pretty cute.

Anyway, thanks for helping me find Milo. He helped me during a kind of hilarious experience involving a borrowed red bikini that was about 100 sizes too small, which was certainly an experiment in self-acceptance.
posted by vortex genie 2 at 7:02 AM on June 16 [1 favorite]

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