It has a valuable lesson about learning self-love. But it is hidden under such a pile of ridiculousness that you almost miss it.
Director: Katleho Ramaphakela, Rethabile Ramaphakela
Screenwriter: Lwazi Mvusi
Starring: Fulu Mugovhani, Tumi Morake, Bohang Moeko
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Runtime: 107 Minutes
Rating: 2 Stars
Reviewed by: Pearl
!!THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!!
Dineo is the definition of serial monogamist. She dates to fall in love; she falls in love to get married. But she never gets married. She always ends up being dumped. When she meets Lunga Sibiya, he seems to be the man she’s waited her whole life for, a man who shares her values when it comes to love and relationships. Or so she thinks – Until she accidentally finds out that the man she was busy planning her forever with, had been planning his forever with someone else. After a messy breakup with Lunga, her commitment-phobic bestie, Noni, helps Dineo face what she dreads most: life as a single woman. – From IMDB
As a single woman myself, I found a good deal of this film to be completely preposterous. I am perfectly happy single and the fact that Dineo could find absolutely no self-worth unless she was in a long-term relationship was just…upsetting to say the least. What was even worse is that they make a total caricature out of her. Meaning that not only is she not happy to be single, but she is embarrassingly desperate to be in a long-term relationship. It’s not funny, it’s cringe-worthy. It’s great when, by the end, she has come to the realisation that she doesn’t need a man in her life for her life to mean something, and I thank that this film doesn’t end the way that you think it will. But my lord does it take some liberties before it gets to the eventual emotional growth. For the most part, Lunge was a total sleaze, playing the field unashamedly, and really not worth all the trouble that Dineo goes through for him. He was a truly unlikeable character.
Dineo’s best friend Noni on the other hand has the much more interesting and engaging storyline. Although it is only a sub=plot to the film, I was more invested with her relationship with Max than I was with any of Dineo’s failed attempts at starting a relationship. Noni is a more interesting character, and her storyline had a lot more heart and emotion than Dineo’s. Sadly, you shouldn’t come away from the film wishing that the focus had been more on the sub-plot.
The film gets props for it’s entirely black cast, speaking in the variety of local dialects that are present in South Africa, switching sometimes in the middle of sentences, like true native speakers do. It’s diversity and inclusivity were applaudable.
Fans of Rom-Coms will find a lot of the elements they like here, but other than a few chuckles here and there, it doesn’t really have much going for it. There are much better Rom-Coms available on the service. But if you are still curious about this one, ‘Seriously Single’ is streaming on Netflix now!