How to Use Guys with Secret Tips Review

How_to_Use_Guys_with_Secret_Tips_posterReview. How to Use Guys with Secret Tips focuses on a downtrodden woman who decides to take a chance and follow video tips to manage men to her advantage.
Synopsis. What if you are a long suffering female employee, who is always overlooked or whose male coworkers use your ideas and credit themselves instead of you? If given the chance to reverse your powerless state with tips to improve status…would you take the chance?
More Details. How to Use Guys with Secret Tips is a 2013 Korean film that stars Lee Si Young as Assistant Director Choi Bo Na and Oh Jung Se as star Lee Seung Jae. Bo Na is overlooked, stepped on, and tired of it. After a commercial shoot starring Seung Jae is complete, her coworkers leave without her and she’s stranded. Bo Na finds a store where a charismatic man sells her a series of videos to empower herself and play to win in a man’s world. She watches the videos and find the tips work. While using the tips she becomes involved with Seung Jae. Is their relationship advantageous or real? Can Bo Na empower herself permanently?

What I liked about How to Use Guys with Secret Tips:

Clever and Funny Story. This film had laugh out loud moments throughout. I loved that the lead character was a woman, and one that wanted to become empowered. The writers (Lee Won Suk, Noh Hye Young, Lee Ho Jae) created characters that were flamboyant but relatable. There were lags so it wasn’t completely riveting, but it was never dull.

Inventive Production Values.
The trio of producers (Kim Hyun Shin, Yoon Chang Sook, Eo Ji Yeon) created scenes that were non-standard, in a good way. The cinematographer Kim Sun Ryung had moments that were visual winners. You felt like you got a taste of the production behind the scenes which always interests me.

Lee Si Young as Assistant Director Choi Bo Na. Tired of the status quo Bo Na dares to empower herself and make her directorial mark when the opportunity presents itself. Bo Na works with Seung Jae and they become involved. Is she using him or does she care for him? Does it matter? Will her success be short lived? Si Young created woman that was willing to change her ways to get opportunities that previously eluded her. Si Young has an angelic face but a determination that wasn’t steely (and harsh) but rather a bit desperate (and honest). Her chemistry with the other actors was excellent. I loved watching a film with a female lead, it doesn’t happen often. Even better, this character was not cookie cutter.

Oh Jung Se as star Lee Seung Jae. While fighting to stay a star, flamboyant and arrogant Seung Jae is drawn to Bo Na when they work together and become involved. Is he using her or does he care for her? Does it matter? Will his star power rise or fall? Jung Se threw himself into the role playing awkward moments with zest. I’m not sure his character would grab me as much without Jung Se’s abilities to highlight the appeal and heart of Seung Jae.

Shout out to the support characters framed our leads. Two veteran actors delivered solid performances; Lee Won Jong made me laugh as Director Yook Bong and Park Young Gyu made me smile as Bo Na’s guide, Dr. Suwalski, via the amusing videotapes. Kim Joon Sung had comedic timing as fellow star, Oh Ji Hoon, and rival to Seung Jae.

What I did not like about How to Use Guys with Secret Tips:

Very Little. This movie stomped on and embraced the traditional roles for men and women. Bo Na wavered when I wanted her to hold firm but it that is a minor quibble.

Final Thoughts:

How to Use Guys with Secret Tips worked for me in every way: a female lead I wanted to succeed, a male lead that was interestingly flawed, a story that empowered our lead with laughs throughout, and production values that enhanced the story. This film was a winner.


Asian drama fan

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Posted in Kmovie, Reviews
9 comments on “How to Use Guys with Secret Tips Review
  1. fullfaze says:

    I love your reviews. I really like your writing style. I would be glad if you visited my blog and suggested what I should change and tell me what you didn’t like because you seem experienced

    • kjtamuser says:

      I liked the pique theme you selected, it has a polished look. The feedback others have given you is good. As you have more posts, some kind of index or top menu to organize your reviews will help your readers navigate your blog. Keep on blogging. Your blog and your style will evolve with time. Hope this helps.

  2. Beez says:

    I need to rewatch this because I watched a blurry version of it quite a while ago PLUS…I see Ji Chang Wook listed in the credits on AsianWiki. I’m sure it must be a very small part but any chance to see my bias… 🙂

    • kjtamuser says:

      I didn’t even know Ji Chang Wook was in the film. I googled and found a site that stated “In the movie, How to Use Guys with Secret Tips, Ji Chang Wook is given credit for a cameo appearance, though his scene was not included in the worldwide release.”

  3. Beez says:

    I rewatched this recently (if you can call my first time even watching since it was so blurry). And thanks, kjt, for saving me from going bonkers wondering how I could’ve missed Ji Chang Wook again. 🙂

    I wanted to call it to your attention that the lead actress in this is Lee Si Young whom we both loved in Lookout this year. I’m assuming that back when you watched and reviewed Secret Tips that you weren’t familiar with her either. I know when I rewatched this I was like “Oh! It’s her!” I know that since I saw Lookout I had wondered why she didn’t have more starring roles until now. I hope TPTB (the powers that be) see fit to give her a lot more roles. Besides being an action powerhouse, she’s cute as a button. (Although I think she is taller than most K actresses which might be what limits her roles. It might be kind of hard to cast her if the male romantic lead is 5’6″ (like my loves Hyuckie and Cho Jung Suk who’s lucky if he’s 5’6″ while wearing his elevator shoes). Doesn’t stop me from being infatuated with both of them. 🙂

    • I wanted to call it to your attention that the lead actress in this is Lee Si Young whom we both loved in Lookout this year. I’m assuming that back when you watched and reviewed Secret Tips that you weren’t familiar with her either.
      Yes, when I watched this film I only knew her from Boys Over Flowers where she played the friend that betrayed the female lead in hopes of getting the male lead for herself. She is cute and her Lookout role impressed me with how strong the character was. I find Lee Si Young very watchable.

      • Beez says:

        That was her in BOF?! Although now that you say it, that makes sense. Although I don’t remember BOF all that well, want she the girl they met in Italy who was kicking butt?

        • She played the female lead’s friend at Shinhwa High School, Oh Min Ji. She had the plastic surgery and wanted the male lead for herself.

          • Beez says:

            Thanks, kjt. I don’t remember that at all. It’s still a mystery to me how BOF managed to captivate me. I remember being appalled at the bullying in the first episode and swore there was no way I would ever like LMH’s character and would not finish the series. Yet I was captivated. My only defense for actually finishing the series is “those were my early Kdrama days”. lol and smh

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