The audience last saw Cinta (Dian Sastrowardoyo) and Rangga (Nicholas Saputra), 14 years ago, in the Indonesian coming-of-age drama Ada Apa Dengan Cinta. After overcoming their differences and personal issues, the movie ended with Cinta saying a tearful goodbye to Rangga at the airport as he left for New York City.

In the sequel Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2, the audience will learn that Cinta and Rangga were in a long-distance relationship for years. Then Rangga became aloof and eventually, Cinta learned the hard way that the relationship was over. The events happened off–screen. So the sequel actually picks up from the last time Cinta heard from Rangga, which is nine years ago.Much of the excitement of Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2 is waiting for Cinta and Rangga to finally meet and go over unfinished business. Did he meet someone else or is he secretly dying? Maybe he just lost his passport.

Whatever it is, Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2 is not going to make it easy for the audience who have been waiting for more than a decade (in real life) to see this Cinta-Rangga reunion.

The movie unfolds at a leisurely pace, almost as if you’re waiting at the airport for Rangga to arrive from New York City. While you wait, please enjoy these beautifully-shot scenes of Yogyakarta where Cinta and her friends Karmen (Adinia Wirasti), Maura (Titi Kamal) and Milly (Sissy Prescillia) are on holiday.

The moment when Cinta and Rangga finally meet is when the audience gets reacquainted with the pair. Dian and Nicholas have no problem easing back into the roles that made them household names in Indonesia. As Cinta, Dian is still as feisty as ever and Rangga is the same brooding writer. The audience will be charmed once again. Perhaps even more so, as Rangga tries to win Cinta back through a spontaneous trip around the city.

Then comes the drama, where viewers have to brace themselves for the possibility that heartbreak is in store for Rangga as Cinta is already engaged to someone else (cue the theme from Psycho).

That heartbreak is intensified with aching Melly Goeslaw ballads playing in the background to accompany the sad scenes. Everytime her voice comes up on screen, it’s a funeral march for Rangga’s romantic prospects. Yes, get your tissues ready.

If you haven’t watched Ada Apa Dengan Cinta, then perhaps the meaning of this sequel will be lost on you. At times, it feels like an overextended music video. As the movie also skips over other developments like Cinta–Rangga’s long-distance relationship and Cinta’s five stages of grief, and there are no flashbacks for any of these moments, the movie doesn’t offer much satisfaction in terms of storytelling.

Nevertheless, the sense of nostalgia will compel the audience to get some much-needed closure. Watch this if you really need to know what happened to Cinta and Rangga, decades after the first movie ended. Is Rangga still writing poetry? Did he get on Tinder after the break up with Cinta? Wait … why did he break up with her in the first place? Just like how Cinta allowed herself to be led into the unknown by Rangga, the less you know (about the movie) before watching this, the better.


Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2

Director: Riri Reza

Cast: Dian Sastrowardoyo, Nicholas Saputra, Adinia Wirasti, Titi Kamal, Sissy Prescillia, Ario Bayu