Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Review Rating: 7.5
Downtrodden Choi Bo-Na is stuck in the mans world of advertising, until a chance encounter with a manic salesman and a series of instructional videos turns her world upside-down!
So Choi Bo-Na (Lee Si-Young) is a 2nd string DA (that’s Directors Assistant) for a firm that makes television commercials, which means despite actually being talented enough for the job, Choi gets all the crap parts that come with the job piled on her daily, along with the standard sexist remarks. Choi does a ton of work, gets pretty much none of the credit, and honestly doesn’t have the time to bother with things like makeup and feminine clothes. It all culminates in a grindingly dull and frustrating experience trying to shoot a commercial on the beach, when Choi is left behind and finds a street merchant (Park Yeong-gyu) selling the entire series of How To Use Guys on tape. Next thing you know, a female face emerges from that concealing hoodie, a girl trying to use whatever tricks will work on the male-controlled advertising world. And it’s working, even on the impossible star of the commercial who led her to the tapes in the first place, Lee Seung-Jae (Oh Jung-Se), who finds himself in love with her to the point of riotously adorable madness. The self-styled guru narrator from the tapes Dr. Swarski acts like a game show host a good deal of the time, when he’s not freezing scenes like teenaged Saved By The Bell, or cleverly dispensing advice from a windowbox scene to Choi simultaneously. Most of the film is kept at an enjoyable manic pace, except for the beginning of the third act, where an incredibly weird love scene between Lee and Choi comes about from a damned dog, jealousy, and the set of a Bollywood-style Korean romance movie!
The film is an adorable adventure down the inequalities between men and woman in, well, just about everything – from business to love, and all the awkward stuff in between. We get to see Choi find herself and her worth, which is I think, the actual main purpose of the video series How To Use Guys. Then again, some of us might rather enjoy using the video series in our own real lives – see the film and decide for yourself!