A few minutes into watching “Seriously Single”, I couldn’t help but beam with pride.
Let me qualify that statement. There is a default mentality among South Africans that homegrown offerings are below par when compared with Hollywood.
The tide has turned and “Seriously Single” is indicative of this change. We should be truly proud of the calibre of talent in our country.
“Seriously Single” is on par with international standards from the writing, acting, direction to production value.
The storyline is quirky, relatable, engaging and immensely entertaining. Kudos to directors Rethabile and Katleho Ramaphakela for giving us a refreshing and empowering modern rom-com.
Set in Johannesburg, it follows the journey of Dineo (Fulu Mugovhani), a social media manager.
She’s hot, sassy and an incurable romantic. Then there is her sceptical, commitment-phobic bestie, Noni (Tumi Morake).
Noni doesn’t believe in having sex with a guy more than once. As she puts it, “I’m a chartered accountant living her best life”.
Well, she does so…until she meets Max.
The story is told over several months, kicking off with the month of love. It’s Valentine’s Day and Dineo is looking forward to a romantic night.
But her love bubble is pricked by the arrival of a package (make that several) from her boyfriend.
An oblivious Dineo gets her colleague Pam (played by Tiffany Barbuzano) to live-stream her opening the “gift” – only to realise the folly of her decision as she was being dumped.
Being a true friend, Noni refuses to leave Dineo to sulk and invites her to her office shindig.
But Dineo is devastated by the break-up and, aside from stalking her ex on social media, she ends up exhaling a few choice words in her car only to realise she has an amused audience.
Lunga (Bohang Moeko) is parked next to her. He witnesses her rant and invites her to join him for a drink.
She has her pity party, he lets her and, true to form, she catches feelings for the guy and moves in.
The honeymoon phase is shortlived after a suspicious Dineo, with the help of Noni, learns a shocking truth about Lunga.
And so begins the second meltdown where Dineo doubts herself and stalks her ex.
I won’t get into that ugly cry on a live social media post or the myriad awful Tinder dates that follow.
This is a movie that every girl (and guy) can relate to, on some level.
The overall casting is sheer genius. Mugovhani and Morake have such wonderful chemistry.
Morake is so lovable as this free-spirited, independent big girl with a bigger personality.
Mugovhani plays her role as a high-flying career woman, who plays the fool in her search for a happily-ever-after end, with gravitas and a vulnerable edge.
Moeko’s role isn’t easy. He is forced to explore the ugly as well as the charming side of being “the guy”.
And he handles his character’s conflicted emotions and detached nuances with commendable dexterity.
“Seriously Single” is as much a journey of self-fulfilment as it is about love. And there are plenty of laughs along the way.
It’s a definite must-see Mzansi offering!
“Seriously Single” debuts on Netflix on Friday, July 31.