Film Review: How To Use Guys With Secret Tips



   Overlooked, down-trodden and struggling to survive in the male dominated workplace, (supposedly) plain jane Bona (Lee si-yeong) decides to take matters into her own hands and invest in a self-help VHS to turn her life around.

   How To Use Guys With Secret Tips (the name from which the film takes its title) is an instructional video aimed at helping tip the battle of the sexes in the balance of the gentler sex. Bona is suspicious at first at the efficacy of the video but, slowly putting the tips into place, her life turns around – men who previously would not have noticed her are quickly wrapped around her finger and her career as an Assistant Director suddenly takes off.

   Everything is going perfectly for Bona until hallyu star Lee Seung-jae (Oh Jung-se) begins to fall head over heels for her - if he discovers her secret, that she has been selfishly manipulating every man she meets, their burgeoning relationship will be over. Caught between a desire to be successful and to snare the man of her dreams, Bona has to make a decision whether or not to tell the truth.


  1.    Rather than revolutionise the romantic comedy outright, How To Use Guys With Secret Tips creates a fresh feeling movie by blending together elements from the genre’s history. From Hollywood, Lee Won-suk takes pinches of screwball and battle of the sex comedies from the 1940s and 50s and meshes them with post My Sassy Girl slapstick and Scott Pilgrim-esque fourth wall-breaking onscreen visualisations to create a rapid moving, zippy piece of lunatic fun. As with many South Korean rom coms of the 21st century, the film is held together by the sparkling performances of the leads with Lee a cute and vivacious appealing protagonist and Oh delivering a performance as an egotistic, bloated peacock ready to be popped by his own insecurity at any moment.
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