How to Use Guys with Secret Tips Review
Country: South Korea
Director: Wonsuk Lee
Writers: Wonsuk Lee, Hye-yeong No, Ha Soo-jin
Starring: Lee Si-young, Oh Jung-se, Park Yeong-gyu
For once, I’m going to move away from horror and Takashi Miike films to bring your attention to an adorable little gem of a film I found called How to Use Guys With Secret Tips. The cover of the film looked adorable and cute so I had to buy it to witness if it was just as cute as I had expected! Luckily, this was definitely a case where you should judge a movie by its cover, as How to Use Guys With Secret Tips was delightful from start to finish!
How to Use Guys with Secret Tips is a story of a young woman having an endless amount of bad luck. Considered ‘not so attractive’ and eventually losing her chance for a promotion at work, Choi Bo-na (Lee Si-young) hits an all time low. Somehow, she accidentally buys an old video tape set titled ‘How to Use Guys With Secret Tips’. She starts watching the video out of curiosity. By following the videos instructions she gets what she wants at work and even manages to get top star Lee Seung-jae falling for her. But can she keep him?
I haven’t watched many Asian romance films. I tend to stick to horror or the downright odd, so this was very refreshing for me. Nobody dies, for one, which certainly makes a change. When I compare it to other romantic films I’ve seen, it’s up there in my books with Bridget Jones’ Diary, which we all know is a hoot of a romance film. Just like Bridget Jones, How to Use Guys with Secret Tips is downright funny from start to finish, with that tiny sad moment at the end. The comedy timing is absolutely perfect throughout the whole film, and the multiple of gags are genuinely funny without the film ever sinking into the ‘trying to hard’ category. The film itself is pretty predictable, but there is enough plot and twists for you to enjoy the ride until you ultimately reach the predictable ending.
The overall look of the film is cute and fresh with a keen sense of style. It’s aesthetically pleasing which reflects the vibrancy of the film. Yet the film’s greatest strength is it’s soundtrack. Personally, it’s very important to me that a film has a great soundtrack. Whenever Quentin Tarantino makes a new film I’m always excited to hear how it’s going to sound! How to Use Guys with Secret Tips not only has a great soundtrack, but it has variety. It uses music under the genres of hip hop, pop and club beats as well as Ravel which is used perfectly in the film!!
The characters are all great and the acting is absolutely on point for such a fun film. Our main protagonist shines throughout! She’s consistently delightful and possess excellent comedic timing, especially for physical comedy. Our main male protagonist (Oh Jung-se) is such a good sport! He’s put in a myriad of embarrassing situations but just rolls with it as if nothing fazes him. My favourite scene of his is when he’s naked in the car and about to be searched by the police. The music, the slow motion timing, the emotion he exudes is all executed perfectly to bring you one hilarious, nearly-peeing-your-pants funny scene. Our two main stars have great chemistry together which can be seen in their ‘night before’ scene.
Koreanfilm.org describes How to Use Guys With Secret Tips the best way possible, stating it’s “fresh and new, but also simply a well executed film. In a genre that looks easy, but is actually quite challenging, this is a significant accomplishment”. I’m not lying when I say it does stand out in the romance category of films.
Buy It! Cute, clever, and absolutely funny. How to Use Guys With Secret Tips is one of those films that has you laughing hysterically one minute and awww-ing the next. The two leads have amazing chemistry together, bringing a sense of fun and carefree comedy to every scene, while still making sure you’re invested in Choi Bo-na’s story. This is a charismatic film that succeeds to outshine it’s peers. If you ever see it, pick it up!