How to Use Guys with Secret Tips
Despite a set-up that would lend itself very easily to descending into rom-com clichés, Lee Won-suk’s quirky and offbeat female empowerment story offers a hearty amount of laughs and only a modicum of sickly sweet sentiment when necessary.
Labelled by her own co-workers as unremarkable, dense, and defective, wallflower and tightly drawn hoodie enthusiast Bona (Lee Si-yeong) toils away thanklessly as a Second Assistant Director for an erudite, acoustic guitar playing asshole of a commercial director, and constantly having to bend to the whims of a hot new actor, who was once a nerd she spurned years ago. At one point abandoned by her crew and at her lowest point emotionally, she purchases a set of VHS tapes (complete with a free and wholly random Where’s Waldo book!) from a shady looking “doctor” (Park Yeong-gyoo) operating out of the side of a caravan to teach her how to be confident when dealing with the opposite sex.
Despite some standard plotting that has to address the consequences of manipulation, the film deftly talks about how women can make chauvinists pay for their actions simply by being confident and not taking any crap. The romance at the heart of the story is sometimes a bit choppy and unearned, but it’s consistently funny and assured in how it handles its “how-to guide” hook. (Andrew Parker)
Thursday, November 7th, Jackman Hall AGO, 8:30pm