The Jakarta Post
Cinta’s comical friends Milly and Mamet from Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? (What’s Up with Love?), or AADC, return with a spin-off centered on their marriage life. Helmed by comedian Ernest Prakasa, Milly & Mamet is a romance drama with less romance and more comedy.
The movie starts with a high school reunion between Mamet (Dennis Adishwara) and Cinta’s (Dian Sastrowardoyo) gang of friends: Milly (Sissy Prescillia), Karmen (Adinia Wirasti), Maura (Titi Kamal) and Cinta herself. Mamet sees Milly being left in the club by her boyfriend Rama (Surya Saputra) and takes her home in his old car. It breaks down on the way, of course. The two talk while waiting for the mechanic to come, and their love life kicks off from there.
Skipping four years ahead, Milly and Mamet are married. Milly is a stay-at-home mom who takes care of their newborn Sakti, while Mamet works at Milly’s father’s (Roy Marten) textile company. A heated argument with his father-in-law leads to Mamet resigning, right around the time his college best friend Alex (Julie Estelle) recruits him to open a restaurant. Alex tows in her boyfriend James (Yoshi Sudarso) as the investor and Mamet joins in, excited to exercise his cooking passion. Now cue the problems!
Previously a banker, Milly gets bored of staying at home and believes that she needs to handle her father’s business. She also gets jealous of Alex, and suspects James of illegally obtaining the money he uses for the restaurant. Mamet’s complete trust in Alex and his disapproval of Milly working get in the way, and their marriage gets tested.
Milly & Mamet serves nothing remarkable story-wise; the plot has a stale start, a predictable progression and a flat finish. However, it works as a comedy film oh-so-well, thanks to Ernest.
Mamet is an extension of his AADC-self, a naïve guy who embraces the fact that he is the butt of everyone’s jokes. He constantly invites laughter, intentional or not. Milly, on the other hand, drifts away from her slow-witted high school self. In fact, she appears rather smart here, being surrounded by “dumber” characters and all.
The two star in the only two long jokeless scenes in the movie – both see the two in a climactic argument. In one of them, Ernest tactfully places Milly to face the camera while Mamet has his back to it. Not that Dennis Adishwara is terrible at dramatic scenes, but Sissy Prescillia’s serious performance is simply stunning.
Every other scene, and almost every other character, is comical.
The supporting characters are one-dimensional, each with a distinctive trait and way of talking. Milly’s housekeeper Sari (Arafah Rianti) is a gullible girl who talks with a countrified accent, the number one laughter jukebox. Two music superstars, Isyana Sarasvati and Melly Goeslaw perform comedy surprisingly well. The former plays the role of James’ secretary who talks to her pet fish and names her pet cat “Anjing” (dog). The latter, who also sang AADC and AADC 2’s soundtracks, acts as Mamah Itje, an Instagram food-reviewer who is perhaps a comedic take on the outspoken Muslim preacher, Mamah Dedeh.
Ernest himself appears as Yongki, one of the garment factory’s workers. Yongki does not deliver any spoken jokes, but still entertains plenty with his lax demeanor and hilarious caps – one says “Anda sopan kami segan” (we are humble when you are polite). Ernest’s fans will definitely notice throughout the film that most of the jokes, not just Yongki’s, have a similar tone to his stand-up acts. It’s clear that Ernest is the comedic brain behind Milly & Mamet, and an impressive one at that.
Milly & Mamet stands on its own. Those who haven’t watched AADC or its sequel won’t get lost trying to follow the story. But this means that the film fails to sell on the nostalgia. The characters, and Mamet’s busted car, are the only ones anchoring this film to the AADC universe.
So, Milly & Mamet is not for those looking to relive Cinta and Rangga’s memories through a turbulent love story. Instead, grab some popcorn for 101 minutes of a good time at the cinema, because Ernest Prakasa has got it.
The film hits theaters on Dec. 20. (iru/kes)
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