Romantic comedies, for decades, have been regarded as little more than chick movies by the general public, categorized as lighter fare that fits more into the guilty-pleasure viewing category than, say, Scorsese’s latest feature. However, in this day and age of 24-hour news cycles and social media addiction, nothing beats watching two people fall in love to temporarily alleviate existential dread. Unlike a plot-heavy piece of Oscar bait, these best romantic comedy movies allow you to get lost in the details of romance and provide you with a healthy amount of humorous banter. Without further ado, let’s dive into the Netflix romantic comedy movies:
Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
Ryan Gosling, the ultra-charming Ryan Gosling, could certainly teach us a thing or two about romance and seduction. In this delightful comedy about a middle-aged guy separated from his wife (Julianne Moore) and trying to reclaim his game with the help of a youthful playboy, Steve Carell takes his counsel (to some success) (Gosling). It’s the kind of interconnected rom-com that actually works, thanks to the all-star cast and Gosling’s enthralling chemistry with frequent co-star Emma Stone. The movie is one of the best rom-coms on Netflix.
Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Another one of the best romantic comedy movies on Netflix is Always Be My Maybe, which was co-written by and starring comedian Ali Wong, who is best known for performing her stand-up show Baby Cobra while pregnant. The tale is set in San Francisco, and it follows Wong’s character as she reconnects with her childhood neighbor (Randall Park) after becoming a successful chef in New York City. Things get messy when past feelings are brought up while she’s only in the Bay Area to establish her latest fine-dining outlet.
The Holiday (2006)
The Holiday, one of the popular Netflix romantic comedy movies, is a holiday love story with an all-star cast that includes Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz (since retired), Jude Law, and Jack Black. When two women want a break from their existing lives, they decide to exchange houses for the holidays. Amanda Woods is an L.A.-based movie trailer creator, and Iris Simpkins is a London-based wedding columnist. The two women rediscover themselves after settling into each other’s houses, and finally they both find love.
Destination Wedding (2018)
The chemistry between Keanu and Winona shines through in this Netflix rom-com collaboration, in which they portray two middle-aged curmudgeons who annoy each other at the airport and subsequently at the same wedding in Paso Robles. The film may drag at times, considering how the pessimists’ discourse is as sour as the grapes at their wine tastings, but come on, you want to drink a glass of their chemistry whenever you get the opportunity. This movie maintains its crystal clear position as one of the best romantic comedy movies on Netflix.
Set It Up (2018)
In Set It Up, one of the top 10 romantic comedy movies on Netflix, Zoey Deutch is endlessly entertaining opposite Glen Powell. As Deutch and Powell’s characters work together to set up their oppressive bosses, staging meet-cutes and spying on them constantly in the hopes of forming a relationship that will get their employers off their backs once and for all, the film achieves a unique self-awareness. Naturally, their organic affections for one another emerge as they plot to manufacture love where there is none. It may appear formulaic, but the outcome is well worth your time.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)
What if your secret letters to your crushes weren’t so private after all, and ended up in the hands of those same crushes? It’s a teenager’s worst nightmare! In this Netflix original based on Jenny Han’s best-selling YA novel, that’s exactly what happens to leading lady Lara Jean (Lana Condor). Lara Jean pretends to date another former crush, Peter Kavinsky, to avoid the embarrassment of one letter finding up in the mailbox of her neighbor, best friend, and sister’s ex-boyfriend Josh—and it turns out that fake-dating can unwittingly lead to a lot of real sentiments.
When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
Reiner and Nora Ephron created an unforgettable portrait of two neurotic New Yorkers (Crystal and Ryan) whose friendship blossoms into unexpected romance after a series of twists and turns. The connection between the two characters, as well as the crisp and constantly quotable language, vaults the somewhat traditional plot into the cinematic pantheon. Ryan’s phony orgasm at Katz’s Deli has been mocked and referenced ad nauseam, but the punchline will make you giggle. The movie is undoubtedly one of the best Netflix romantic comedy movies.
You’ve Got Mail (1998)
You’ve Got Mail – one of the top 10 romantic comedy movies on Netflix – is Nora Ephron’s final genre-defining romantic comedy, released after When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle but before the new century. It’s Ephron’s second collaboration with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, who act as sparring partners Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox. They fall in love with technology that, if the cameras were still filming for another decade, would throw both characters out of business: the Internet. It was the first rom-com to include Dave Chappelle as a best friend, the first to feature a dial-up modem as the opening credits song, and the first to mock the ease with which a potential partner can be catfished.
About Time (2013)
About Time, one of the best rom coms on Netflix, stars Rachel McAdams. As the title suggests, it’s a romantic comedy/science fiction mash-up set in a universe where time travel is possible. While the picture has a few flaws—the rules of time travel are uneven, and the audience is asked to suspend disbelief a bit too far—a it’s refreshing look at what the genre can do, allowing the blend of romance and comedy to be untethered from reality. Sure, it’s about a couple who bond through their mutual love of model Kate Upton, but it’s also about father-son relationships, growing up, and how we can and can’t control the progression.
She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
Before you see Spike Lee’s Netflix original series of the same name, you should know where it all started. During her sexual apex, Nola (Tracy Camilla Johns) juggles three men, and everything is going swimmingly until they discover each other. She Has to Have It takes a few nasty twists, but each discovery elucidates what true romantic independence entails. The movie is undoubtedly one of the best Netflix romantic comedy movies.