WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
While her free-living bestie urges her to embrace singlehood, a commitment-craving social media expert can’t stop following the life of a former love.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
Another addition to the growing line-up of South African productions hitting the international market, Seriously Single is a fun film that tackles the expectations placed on women to find a husband, especially in African cultures. But while it’s marketed as a rom-com that at first follows the typical format Hollywood has imprinted on us through the decades, it’s a lot more about the power of female friendships and the support we get from our best friends, even when we make a complete fool of ourselves.
Best friends Dineo and Noni are successful career women living their best lives in the City of Gold, but have very different views when it comes to love. Dineo hops from relationship to relationship, believing every man might be “The One”, while Noni loves living a perpetually single life, never sleeping with the same man twice.
What’s great about Seriously Single is that neither viewpoint is deemed as good or bad. It’s an ode to the beauty of single independence while also acknowledging what can be gained from healthy romantic relationships. And at its core is a messy yet empowering friendship where two women traverse the murky waters of dating together, unafraid of calling each other out while still holding their hand when they mess up. And look absolutely fabulous the whole way through (no seriously, I want to raid this movie’s entire wardrobe department).
Siblings Rethabile and Katleho Ramaphakela share the directing credit, and one can applaud them for having a very clear vision for their film and sticking to it, despite some scenes feeling too forced in the acting department. It’s also very apparent that the script is at least written by a woman – Lwazi Mvusi (Farewell Ella Bella) – and is far removed from rom-coms where male writers warp women into two-dimensional plot devices or manic pixie girls.
But the script doesn’t come without some criticism – the movie is incredibly drawn out and could easily have been cut by 20 minutes. There are also bits of dialogue that struggle to flow naturally with a stop-start rhythm that can take you out of the moment. Overall, it needs some polishing to be on par with Hollywood productions it faces off with within the Netflix machine, but the passion and heart of the story make it worthy of a watch.
Comedian diva Tumi Morake plays our bodacious chartered accountant Noni, cracking hearts as hard as she cracks her hilarious one-liners. Personally, she felt like the biggest star of the show, and her personality did sometimes overshadow the performance from Fulu Mugovhani from Still Breathing fame, who plays the obsessive and sometimes ridiculous social media guru Dineo. She plays on the cutesy, perfect girlfriend/future wife trope, and while it can get a little annoying and overacted, you still want to root for her in the end.
As sizzling as the women are, the starring men also come packing heat. Yonda Thomas drips with charisma in every scene, his hipster character Max trying desperately to win over the icy heart of Noni. On the other hand, you have Lunga, played by Bohang Mokoe, causing drama for Dineo with his smile and Insta-worthy style.
Seriously Single didn’t blow me away, but I still had fun watching it and had many a laugh at the women’s antics while also lowkey shouting at them for doing stupid things – almost like a friend who just wants to see their sisters thrive. And that’s what this movie is really about.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:
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