Whether they met in preschool or were thrown together by chance in a university res room, there is nothing quite like the bond that exists between two best friends. Ultimately, this is what Seriously Single demonstrates. It’s a romantic comedy so it has its moments of swoon-worthy flirtation and you’ll definitely giggle a time or two, but what really sets this movie apart is not the relationship between a protagonist and her Mr Right; but rather the relationship between a protagonist and the one person who will always have her back: her best friend.
The film was produced by Burnt Onion productions, which consists of a trio of siblings determined to share their voices and stories with Africa and the world. What sets this movie apart from any of the other hundreds of rom coms out there is its display of diversity. This movie portrays the best aspects of our the “rainbow nation” with sweeping images of cosmopolitan Johannesburg and dialogue in English, Tswana, Zulu, Afrikaans, Xhosa, and Sotho. The storyline relies on a number of romantic comedy tropes and the storyline is similar to 2016’s How To Be Single (from high-octane nights out on the town to the more vulnerable moments of the films’ protagonists stumbling their way through romance and heartbreak; right down to the witty bartender and someone who wants more than just a casual relationship). The leading ladies in this film are veterans of the South African entertainment scene: Fulu Mugovhani and Tumi Morake. Their characters are dynamic and fun, but also vulnerable and personable enough to seem familiar to watchers, as if they were the girls you’d meet in the ladies room at a nightclub.
If you can look past the similarities to countless other rom coms and the typical tropes one expects to find in these kinds of films, you’re left with an enjoyable film, endearing characters, and a sense of familiarity – something we don’t often get when watching movies on Netflix. It may seem like just another romantic comedy, but in Seriously Single, the characters look and speak like ordinary people, and this is the film’s greatest triumph.
Image: Cletus Mulaudi