HOW TO USE GUYS WITH SECRET TIPS
Directed by Lee Won-Suk
Audience Award, 2013 Udine Far East Film Festival
Like a Mentos in your mouth, HOW TO USE GUYS WITH SECRET TIPS is easily the most refreshing, visually effervescent, off-kilter romantic comedy out of Korea this year. Make that from anywhere. It’s a seesaw of mania and comedy, bouncing around in a visual wonderland filled with laugh-out-loud humor and breakout star turns by Oh Jung-Se and the perpetually interesting Lee Si-Young, last seen together in Couples.
The title’s glitchy retro grammar says it all. A happy mix of B-movies from the 60s, Three Stooges antics, and female how-to aesthetics, HOW TO USE GUYS brings us Choi Bona, a surly advertising assistant who glares through fluffy bangs and cinched hoodie as she is continually overworked and dumped on by her male peers. On one advertising shoot, Bona butts heads with Lee Seung-jae, an eccentric pop star on the verge of losing his celebrity luster. After stumbling on a self-help VHS box-set (VHS!), Bona unleashes Dr. Swarski, a William Shatner-esque video genie who infects the film with throwback gender advice.
The real treat is Lee Si-Young whose Bona is Unabomber meets Pikachu, unapologetic, charming, and a perfect parry to Oh’s preening comedy. Startlingly, HOW TO USE GUYS is the debut from Lee Won-Suk, who doesn’t stray too far from the rules of romantic comedy but delivers with unforgettable mentholated happy freshness. –Christina Ree
Co-presented by: Asian Culture and Media Alliance