Seriously Single is a serious South African slog that formulaically marches through various rom-com tropes. Despite an intriguing setting and a couple of nice ideas throughout, this latest Netflix Original struggles to elevate above its own mediocrity.
At the heart of this tale lies hopeless romantic Dineo. Working as a social media expert, she finds herself heartbroken when her boyfriend breaks up with her – on Valentine’s Day no less. As she falls into the arms of her best friend Noni, she lets herself fall for a suave man named Lunga while out drinking who promises her the world.
Predictably, things quickly go awry and after a couple of happy months together, Lunga’s facade is shattered when Dineo discovers he’s actually engaged. Instead of cutting her losses and learning from this, empowering herself to be a desirable and strong female role model, Dineo marches on a stalking rampage. From breaking into Lunga’s flat and cooking him dinner to showing up unannounced at his wedding, these moments do little to positively portray the strong female role Dineo aspires to become.
Ideas around love coming when you least expect it and embracing the single life are both positive messages that are unfortunately drowned out by some questionable character arcs. Dineo throws herself head-first into relationships and continues to play the jealous, stalker ex right the way through the film.
It’s not until late on when she finally stands up for herself… and then takes a further 20 minutes to follow through with her ambitions. It’s such a shame too because the third act has some decent material and when the humour is stripped back and the movie is allowed to embrace the melodrama, Seriously Single is all the stronger for it.
There’s one particular scene involving Noni and Dineo where they both open up, away from the countless parties, drinking and music, and it’s easily the highlight of the entire movie. I just wish more of this picture embraced these segments and allowed Dineo to confidently portray a strong female able to live on her own without a man.
On paper, the idea of an empowering rom-com set in the gorgeous locale of South Africa is a recipe for success. Unfortunately the flawed characters, tired, formulaic tropes and some questionable plotting make this more of a disappointing title than it should be.
Compared to other romantic comedies on Netflix, Seriously Single is seriously forgettable.
Verdict - 4/10