Being a woman and being single, without a lover or husband—what’s wrong with that? However, it must be admitted that the single shaming narrative does not provide any room for this possibility for women. The choice of ‘becoming a woman, free and single’ ( single! ) is a choice that is constantly considered not good and unnatural. In fact, is the status of not being single anymore, or having a lover and husband, always a source of happiness and always the best choice for all women? Seriously Single (2020), through its romantic-comedy genre, tries to help us casually-but-seriously rethink this. Is it okay to be a woman and single?
Seriously Single Movie Review (2020)
Film Seriously Single (2020) tells the story of Dineo, a woman who longed for a lasting romantic relationships until marriage. Unfortunately, reality did not turn out as expected. Many times he was dumped by men (usually because of their infidelity with other women), many times Dineo also had to feel disappointed and heartbroken. He did not understand, and at the same time could not accept, why it was so difficult for him to find ‘ the right man ‘.
To help him through his ups and downs due to romantic relationships, fortunately Dineo has a very loyal friend named Noni. Unlike Dineo, Noni is a typical woman who doesn’t want commitment in a romantic relationship: not dating, not getting married. The reason is simple, romantic relationships are complicated and often end in pain. However, in the midst of her unwillingness to make a commitment, Noni opens up and is okay with a one night stand, on the principle that she will never do it more than once with the same man. He just wants to stay single.
The conflict arose after Dineo’s last romantic relationship with Lunga ran aground. Dineo decided he no longer wanted to deal with men in romantic relationship commitments. He wants to be single and happy, just like Noni. However, it turns out that it is not easy for Dineo to choose to be single, when Noni (unexpectedly) actually begins to open her heart and be close to a man in a relationship that seems to be more serious. Slowly but surely, Seriously Single (2020) lays out Dineo’s difficult-but-brave steps to starting to come to terms with himself. To start embracing singleness more confidently, for his own sake.
Film Seriously Single (2020) including the romantic comedy movie that we can consume in a Netflix-light, quite entertaining-even raised the issue that is important to observe the women. Uniquely, this film is set in an urban area of Africa, with a typical urban life that is no different from urban areas in other countries: tall buildings, jobs in the digital marketing world that are heavily connected to social media, and nightlife. The difference is only a matter of culture that has not faded, especially in the various local African languages which are still mixed with English in everyday conversation. Very interesting.
Closer to Dineo in Seriously Single (2020)
Talking about the Dineo character in Seriously Single (2020), some of us may feel excited. Why is Dineo so desperate about romantic relationships? It must be admitted, it’s not too much if we judge Dineo as desperate.In fact, because of his heartbreak, Dineo finds it difficult to separate his private life from his professional work—even though he is one of the highly skilled employees he can rely on in his office. Dineo also constantly discusses his heartbreak story with tears in his eyes, even with the new boys he meets at the club. Not to mention, his escape from alcohol was so excessive—that he vomited his guts in front of his office clients. However, if you remember that Dineo is indeed a woman who aspires to get married, and lives in a time where social media makes everything public, we might try to understand Dineo.
“You’re single now. Girl, you can do whatever the hell you wanna do.”
—Noni to Dineo, in Seriously Single (2020)
One of the interesting factors highlighted in Seriously Single (2020), which also becomes social pressure for Dineo, is the expectation of his mother who still adopts a traditional perspective. Obviously, his mother didn’t want Dineo to be single—that’s why his mother didn’t really like Noni, thought they were very different, of course with Dineo who was considered better and higher in rank than Noni who wanted to be single. Single-shaming, in this film, becomes the part played by Dineo’s mother.
Because of these factors, of course it is not easy for Dineo to choose to live single, single. We have to see the reality that not all women are ready to live single life. Most women still miss romantic relationships, even marriage. Not all women feel single life is an easy choice to take and live. Moreover, in a patriarchal society that still believes that a woman’s life is incomplete if she does not have a lover, if she has not become a wife or a mother. Moreover, with a single-shaming narrative that must be admittedly toxic to women’s mental-emotional health.
Dineo : “Friend, you are not going to be young and beautiful forever. And then what? What will you be left with, hmm? ”
Noni : “My self respect. For not settling for trash. ”
—Dineo & Noni, in Seriously Single (2020)
In a way, friendship with Noni often saves Dineo and helps him stay sane in the toughest of times. Noni is always ready to be a support system for Dineo . He wants the best for his friends, including in male matters. Because of that, Noni dares to express her objections to Dineo and Lunga’s relationship, after Dineo agrees to Lunga’s invitation to get back together—even though, Lunga is a man who doesn’t deserve to be trusted (he approached Dineo when he was engaged to another girlfriend, just for fun & back to Dineo when he was divorced, like looking for an escape). The women clearly need a support system like this Dineo-Noni friendship.
Dineo and Noni are like heaven and earth in the perspective of being single, but they are best friends. The story of the two of them seems to be deliberately collided to complement each other’s narratives of women who want to be appointed in the film. This does not mean that if one woman chooses to be single, all other women must be single as well. Of course, every woman has the freedom to choose the best for her life. Who would have thought, in Seriously Single (2020), Noni who dared to be single and afraid of commitment—eventually ended up in the process of making peace with herself, to try to commit to a good man who had been in love with her for a long time named Max. Dineo also supports their relationship.
“I’m not in love with you. I’m not. I’m in love with not being alone.”
—Dineo to Lunga, in Seriously Single (2020)
The biggest and boldest step that Dineo took for himself was when he rejected Lunga’s proposal, in front of their entire extended family and friends. Plot twists! Obviously, for Dineo who desperately wants a lasting romantic relationship and marriage. Dineo finally realized that he didn’t love Lunga—he fell in love with being ‘not alone’. That meant, for Dineo, the answer wasn’t marriage—but the process of coming to terms with himself. Even if it’s tantamount to embracing the choice to be single.
Again, not all women are ready to be single. Not all women find being single is easy. It’s okay, it’s not easy indeed. The most important thing is not about being single or not, but how women can recognize, love and embrace themselves, in all conditions. The heart-to-heart conversation between Dineo and Noni after the moment of rejection of Lunga’s proposal became a very honest space for Dineo—as well as for every woman who watched this film. Is it okay to be (a woman and) single? Yes sister, it’s totally okay.