The early part of the 21st century was good for Indonesian movie industry.
This was when Indonesian movies started to penetrate and make waves in its neighbouring countries including Malaysia.
Indonesian horror movies such as Kuntilanak (2006) and Hantu Jeruk Purut (2006) were considered on par with Thai horror movies.
Besides its horror flicks, Indonesian romantic movies of the 2000s were also popular when they were released.
Even for those of us in Malaysia who might have never watched their movies, we would have at least heard their original soundtracks blasting through the radio.
So these are the top five Indonesian romantic movies of the 2000s that will make you feel nostalgic:
1.Ada Apa Dengan Cinta (2002)
Before American author wrote her book Slammed (2012) about a teenage couple connected by their passion for poetry, the Indonesians produced a movie based on a similar idea.
Cinta (played by Dian Sastrowardoyo) is the popular, beautiful school poet. Rangga (Nicholas Saputra) is the introvert, a nobody in school.
Their love story starts when Rangga’s poem was submitted to the school’s poetry contest and subsequently won, beating even Cinta’s work.
The movie was released in Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Singapore. In Japan, it was known as Beautiful Days.
Perhaps what catapulted Ada Apa Dengan Cinta to fame was its controversy for being the first Indonesian teen movie featuring a passionate kisssing scene.
But for those who have watched it, they will agree that Cinta and Rangga’s poems hit the nail right on the head making the movie worth the buzz.
2. Eiffel, I’m in Love (2003)
Following the success of Ada Apa Dengan Cinta, teen romantic films started being trendy.
Eiffel, I’m in Love (2003) was the film adaptation of the best selling book of the same name by Rachmania Arunita.
The story plot follows Tita (played by Shandy Aulia) living a perfect life until her parents plan to matchmake her with Adit (Samuel Rizal).
The movie made USD6.4 million in box office and won Most Favourite Movie award at the 2004 MTV Indonesia Movie Awards.
Heart (2006) is the story of childhood friends Rachel (Nirina Zubir) and Farel (Irwansyah). Rachel is a tomboy whom most guys feel comfortable with while Farel is the typical most handsome guy in school.
Farel falls in love with Luna (Acha Septriasa), the pretty, gentle girl that you love to hate (but you can’t).
Rachel then realises she is also in love with her best friend Farel and there you have it – a movie about friendship and a love triangle.
The movie’s soundtrack featuring Irwansyah and Acha in “My Heart” was the national anthem for dating couples when it first came out.
The song even won the Best Song at the MTV Indonesia Movie Awards in 2006.
4.Ayat-ayat Cinta (2008)
Like most Indonesian romantic movies, what is famous other than the film itself is the soundtrack.
This movie’s title tracks such as “Ayat-ayat Cinta” by Rossa and “Tercipta Untukku” by Ungu featuring Rossa were commercial successes.
As for the story, it is about a man pursuing his love in the Islamic way.
Ayat-ayat Cinta (2008) was the first Indonesian film to reach 3.5 million tickets sold.
5.Ketika Cinta Bertasbih (2009)
This is another movie breaking the 3 million tickets in sales, Ketika Cinta Bertasbih.
It is based on the best selling novel with the same title by Habiburrahman El Shirazy.
The movie has a similar theme with Ayat-ayat Cinta which is about Khairul Azzam (Kholidi Asadil Alam) looking for his love while being faithful to his Islamic faith.