Posted in Fantasia 2013, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Funny, Reviews, Trailers, Video

How to Use Guys with Secret Tips review – Fantasia 2013

How_to_Use_Guys_with_Secret_Tips_posterHow to Use Guys with Secret Tips
/ 남자 사용설명서 / Namja Sayongseolmyungseo (2013)
Director: Lee Wonsuk ; Screenplay: Noh Hye-yeong, Ha Soon-jin, Lee Wonsuk
Cast: Lee Si-young, Oh Jung-se, Park Young-keu Kim Jung-tae, Lee Won-jong

This is a surprisingly good romcom. It has lots of fun visual gags and the heroine’s transformation is done in a nice gradual manner. The only thing is that the main love interest seemed to change his mind about her quite quickly and early on. It benefits the comedy as their interactions are totally hilarious, particularly the elevator scene where he constantly tries to kiss her and she has to fend him off and slaps him pretty hard quite a few times. The story moves along quite quickly and is really not meant to be taken seriously at all but it does have some commentary on the male dominated workplace.

Bo-na is a 30 year old assistant director who doesn’t dress well and doesn’t have a great attitude. Coworkers don’t really respect her. After a shoot for a commercial, she falls asleep on the beach and wakes up at night with the crew gone. She randomly finds a stand that sells self-help tapes and ends up buying a set called “How to Use Guys with Secret Tips”. She starts following the advice and quickly achieves results and catches the eye of an egotistical actor whom she had first met five years ago before he became famous. Her newly found confidence also benefits her in her career. Yes, there are some typical misunderstandings towards the end but they at least make sense. Luckily where some movies would veer hard into humourless melodrama in the final act, this movie keeps things light for the most part and the jokes don’t stop.

A lot of the comedy is due to the viewing not only the man in the tapes but also seeing him during Bo-na’s real life where he talks to her and makes comments and tells kids to make their own damn burgers.  The movie is quite colourful. It displays a unique, manic style that you will probably not see very often. The acting is over the top, energetic and exaggerated but it’s easy to accept when you’re having this much fun along with a lively Fantasia audience. Fans of Where’s Waldo should also enjoy this movie as well.


P.S. The posters for this movie are terrible so don’t let that sway your decision about whether to watch this or not.



Longtime fan of East Asian films. Former "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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