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‘Seriously Single’: A South African burlesque for single people!

Taing Rinith / Khmer Times Share:
A scene from ‘Seriously Single’ shows Denio with Lunga. Netflix

Supposing that you were single, would you embrace your singlehood and freedom or would you never stop looking for a partner? Regardless of which, you are likely to enjoy “Seriously Single”, the latest Netflix original South African film –, if you are a die-hard fan of the romantic-comedy genre.

There are, of course, introverts who enjoy every minute of being without a romantic partner and spend all their spare time by themselves. But, there are also people like Denio (Fulu Mugovhani), a social media manager, who does not know how to be single. As long as she can remember, she is always hopping from one relationship to another. Although it is her dream to settle down with “the real love of her life”, the men always turn out to be wrong picks or find her impossible to handle.

After Denio’s latest boyfriend dumps her on Valentine’s Day, her best friend Nani (Tumi Morake), who loves partying and sleeping around, urges Denio to take a break from dating to concentrate on herself for a while. However, on the exact same day, Denio meets Denio (Bohang Moeko) and immediately falls in love with him. After what Lunga thinks is a one night stand, Denio keeps sticking to him, and after not very long the two officially start dating, until Denio finds out that “the man of her dreams” is getting married to another girl. The rest of the story focuses on how Denio deals with this harsh truth as well as how her relationship with Nani is going to change owing to the two romantic affairs.

The first feature film directed by sibling duo Rethabile and Katleho Ramaphakela, “Seriously Single” has a classic setup but brings a lot of fresh energy to viewers. Instead of finding the matches for Denio, a serial monogamist, the story instead focuses on the special relationship with her bestie Nani, which does not take place until you reach the end of the film’s first half. Moreover, characters, with different personal styles, skin tones and body types, casually switch between dialects and languages and present diversity in a relaxed and natural way.

The film is also rich with twists, amusing moments lightened up with romantic jokes and slapstick. Meanwhile, the script, written by Lwazi Mvusi, further drags the film from the traditional classic romantic-comedy, eventually turning exploration of modern love into a much deeper story about the power of female friendship, which is quite a good message today.

The cast’s acting also deserves compliment, especially Fulu Mugovhani, who plays the protagonist, and Tumi Morake in the role of Nani. The two, the only ones in the cast whose names appear on Wikipedia, are just like bread and butter.

With such a good-natured chemistry, they are accountable for almost all the funny and charming moments in the film. Fulu, whose talents have earned her many international awards in the African film industry, delivers her roles both charmingly and awkwardly in a way that make viewers laugh. Meanwhile, Tumi proves that she deserves to be “the 1st African Woman to have a Netflix special” with her employment of stand-up comedy moving “Seriously Single” to another level.

The South African rom-com is definitely an unexpected hit and something you may want to watch to escape from the hard times brought about by the pandemic at the moment.


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