The 30 Best Romantic Comedies on Netflix

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The 30 Best Romantic Comedies on Netflix

If you’re going to #netflixandchill with that special someone or just dream about someone with whom you can snuggle up on the couch and watch movies, then our list of the 50 Best Romantic Comedies Streaming on Netflix has you covered. These rom-coms will make you laugh, might make you tear up, and will certainly have you rooting for love to win the day in its epic, underdog struggle with loneliness and disconnection. From the original mid-20th-century heyday with stars like Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy to last year’s coming-of-age rom-com Sing Street, there’s something here for every taste. Girls will meet boys. Budding relationships will be in jeopardy due to unfortunate miscommunication. The hearts of many former bland/cheating/douchebag boyfriends/fiancés will be broken. And there will be mad dashes to the airport. Are you prepared? Pick a movie, make some popcorn, pour a cheap glass of wine and grab the Kleenexes.

Director: William C. Sullivan
Year: 2015
When six friends reunite for a weekend at the beach, a relaxing getaway turns into an uninvited opportunity to deal with their emotional baggage. That’s Not Us follows three couples—one lesbian, one gay and one straight—during a presumably carefree weekend full of memories, intimate moments and exploration. Two have come to rekindle their sex life, while another couple grapples with how a prestigious grad program will force them hundreds of miles apart. For the third, the revelation that one of them doesn’t know how to ride a bike spurs a begrudging effort to grow together. But while the serene backdrop seems like the perfect place to soften the blows of their difficult issues, the tension that boils may be enough to end each relationship altogether. That’s Not Us is a fleeting and bare look into the lives of six twentysomethings as they fight growing older and growing apart to be the people—and couples—they fell in love with. —Abbey White

save-the-date.jpg 29. Save the Date
Year: 2012
Director: Michael Mohan
A keen observation of the transition from artsy hipsterhood to responsible adulthood, Michael Mohan’s Save the Date examines the difficulties young adults face considering grown-up phases like marriage when half of their parents have divorced. With irrepressibly appealing performers playing flawed characters, he strikes a chord that resonates, even if some of the notes are a bit familiar. Lizzy Caplan (Bachelorette) stars as Sarah, a fiercely independent artist/bookstore manager who reluctantly agrees to move in with her adorable rocker boyfriend, Kevin (Geoffrey Arend). He’s so blissed-out about their new living arrangement that he’s completely tone-deaf to the fact that no, she wouldn’t appreciate being proposed to in front of all their friends (and a bunch of strangers, too) at the end of one of his packed shows. Key to the story and style of the film are Sarah’s ink drawings, created in real life by graphic novelist Jeffrey Brown, who co-wrote the screenplay. They serve as a creative window into Sarah’s soul while conveniently advancing the plot at a critical juncture.—Annlee Ellingson

must-love-dogs.jpg 28. Must Love Dogs
Year: 2005
Director: Gary David Goldberg
“Mate Shopping. Yeah, it’s kinda like going online to buy a pair of pants except there’s going to be a guy in them.” Recently divorced, Diane Lane’s character gets signed up for an online dating site and after a few disastrous dates including a crier and a guy with a toupee, she finally meets the man of her dreams—a man who does not own but loves dogs anyway. —Anita George

working girl movie poster.jpg 27. Working Girl
Year: 1988
Director: Mike Nichols
One of a spate of movies about Wall Street to hit theaters near the end of the Reagan era, Mike Nichols’s romantic comedy was focused more on personal relationships than business. Much of the movie’s success can be boiled down to the chemistry of its leads—Sigourney Weaver and Harrison Ford are more than convincing as late ‘80s business leaders / lovers, and Melanie Griffith was so good as the underestimated blue collar secretary with a business degree that she became one of Hollywood’s biggest stars for a few years. You probably won’t laugh out loud, but it’s a great example of what slick, middlebrow, professional Hollywood comedies in the late ‘80s looked like. It’s also in the relatively small class of comedies to get an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. —Garrett Martin

begin-again.jpg 26. Begin Again
Year: 2014
Director: John Carney
John Carney mines familiar territory in the comedy-drama Begin Again, starring Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley. The writer and director of Once and Sing Street traverses the pond to return to the music world, this time substituting Dublin for a romanticized version of New York City. It’s difficult not to compare Carney’s first two films as they both revolve around struggling singer-songwriters. Ruffalo’s character, Dan, a washed-up record producer, starts off as a Llewyn Davis rehash. He’s a disheveled mess who’s separated from his wife (Catherine Keener) and emotionally estranged from his teenaged daughter (Hailee Steinfeld). His day gets a lot worse when he’s fired from his own record label by his partner, Saul (Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def), for not discovering any new talent in years. In the midst of a bender, Dan stumbles into an East Village bar during an open mic night. Gretta (Knightley) has reluctantly been ushered onstage by her friend, Steve (James Corden), to perform one of her latest songs. No one’s really paying any attention, except Dan, who hears magic. Both Ruffalo and Knightley are perfect in their respective roles; in lesser hands, their characters could have become too predictable, too cliched. —Christine N. Ziemba

grease.jpg 25. Grease
Year: 1978
Director: Randal Kleiser
Okay, so the message Grease leaves us with as Sandy (Oilivia Newton-John) and Danny (John Travolta) head skyward in an unexplained flying convertible—that all you need to do to get boys to like you is dress sluttier and completely change your personality—is uh…not great. But Grease never tries to masquerade as high art or relay any kind of profound mission statement beyond “being a teenager and hanging out with your friends is awesome,” and as such, it’s incredibly easy to get sucked into its fun. Come for iconic song-and-dance numbers like “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights,” stay for goofy one-liners like “if you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter,” and lament the fact that your high school never had an end-of-the-year carnival. —Bonnie Stiernberg

wild-canaries.jpg 24. Wild Canaries
Year: 2014
Director: Lawrence Michael Levine
Flailing, waning coupledom sometimes resorts to practically anything to keep the romance alive: therapy, swinging, having a baby. Why not a murder mystery? A heart-on-sleeve ode to screwball comedies with a dash of Hitchcockian intrigue, Wild Canaries grounds some seriously dark hijinks in the anxiety and selfishness of a couple’s impending nuptials, using their fears of spending their lives with another insecure, difficult person to map out just how out of their depths they are in this whole real-life thriller scenario—or just how much romance needs a spirit of adventure and spontaneity to stay alive. It helps too that actors like Alia Shawkat, Kevin Corrigan and Jason Ritter are on hand, willing to lean in hard on such a caper, while director Lawrence Michael Levine (who stars with his partner Sophia Takal as the leading duo) somehow seamlessly blends his many genre touchstones with his origins in mumblecore, lending the antics some broad physical comedy in the process. The gag in which he, panic-stricken, slowly reclines the seat in his car in order to avoid being detected on a stakeout is worth the run-time alone.—Dom Sinacola

seeking-a-friend.jpg 23. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Year: 2012
Director: Lorene Scafaria
Released in mid-summer of last year, director Lorene Scafaria’s (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) feature film directorial debut came and went without much fanfare. To be fair, it was a hard sell. An apocalypse comedy/rom-com/road trip movie starring the likes of Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, two actors who don’t seem like they belong in the same world together let alone in a romantic pairing, the movie was never going to be a runaway hit. It’s certainly not without its flaws, with a tone that oscillates sharply between comedy and drama and a plotline that borrows heavily from a certain other movie on this list. And yet, Carell and Knightley’s combined charm and chemistry make this one end-of-the-world road trip worth checking out.—Dan Kaufman

i-give-it-a-year.jpg 22. I Give It a Year
Year: 2013
Director: Dan Mazer
Wile many romantic comedies ending at the alter, Dan Mazer’s British film I Give It a Year begins there. After a whirlwind romance, Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) get married, much to the dismay of their friends. Problems arise immediately, and the film is structured between a marriage counselor’s office and flashbacks of their squabbles. On the surface it’s an anti-rom-com, but it’s also a frank look at a couple committed to at least giving the marriage a go when even as it’s attacked from all sides.

your-sisters-sister.jpg 21. Your Sister’s Sister
Year: 2011
Director: Lynn Shelton
Leave it to Lynn Shelton, one of America’s most exciting emerging filmmakers, to take the old formula of “put a few people in an isolated cabin and let them talk it out” and make it into a fascinating film. She’s helped greatly by three very strong lead performances — from Rosemarie Dewitt, Emily Blunt, and especially Mark Duplass. The dialogue hovers in that intriguing space between scripted and improvised, and the film walks the tightrope expertly.—Michael Dunaway

2-days-in-new-york.jpg 20. 2 Days in New York
Year: 2012
Director: Julie Delpy
A matchless New York romantic comedy with language full of smarts and crudeness, 2 Days in New York brings audiences a hilarious 48-hour portrait of an atypical modern family. Julie Delpy’s intellect and talent as a writer/director/actress are undeniable, leaving one to wonder why she doesn’t participate in this Hollywood juggling act more often. In a season where critics and audiences continue to praise comedic female writing and directing, Julie Delpy should receive nothing less than a standing ovation for 2 Days in New York, a lively example of sharp and entertaining filmmaking.—Caitlin Colford

gentlemen prefer blondes poster.jpg 19. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Year: 1953
Director: Howard Hawks
This classic musical comedy basically defined Marilyn Monroe’s image for all time. Monroe and Jane Russell are both magnetic as showgirls in this fun but incredibly dated comedy, which is full of jokes and gags that your grandparents probably went nuts over. You probably need a healthy respect for film history and a tolerance for corniness and outdated ideas about gender and romance to really appreciate this one today, but if you can get past all that you’ll find a charming, effervescent, and, yes, funny slice of amiable nonsense. —Garrett Martin

sliding-doors.jpg 18. Sliding Doors
Year: 1998
Director: Peter Howitt
An inventive charmer from England, Sliding Doors grafts the rom-com treatment onto the philosophical notion of the “butterfly effect,” which asserts that the smallest incidents can have a profound impact on one’s life. In the case of the film, this defining moment is a young woman’s s attempt to catch a train. From here, her life splinters into two parallel realities—one in which she catches the train and discovers her boyfriend’s infidelity and one in which she misses her ride and remains oblivious to his indiscretions. While much of the film’s energy goes into servicing this complex gimmick, it’s the sharp writing and charming performances from the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah and John Lynch that keeps this from merely feeling like a needless exercise in story structure. —Mark Rozeman

BEST-ROMANTIC-MOVIES-NETFLIX-blue-jay.jpg 17. Blue Jay
Year: 2016
Director: Alex Lehmann
Sarah Paulson is one of the most vital actors working today, and at this particular moment she’s damn close to ubiquitous; here she shows up as one of two leads in newcomer Alex Lehmann’s lovely romantic comedy Blue Jay, a compact and unassuming film about big, life-changing things that’s presented in a beautiful monochrome package. Think of it as a palate cleanser for Paulson after a year spent maneuvering productions of grander scope and ambition. But scale and quality exist in two separate zip codes, and what Blue Jay lacks in import it makes up for with effervescence and melancholy. As though to put Paulson’s luminous talents to the test, Lehmann has cast her alongside Mark Duplass, a man primarily known for making tons of low-fi mutter-fests and whose range allows him comfortably to play himself. Paulson and Duplass make such a great pair that the film’s relative nothingness is pleasurable rather than painful. Blue Jay only clocks in at about an hour and twenty minutes (less, counting the credits scrawl), so it should breeze along by its very nature, but it feels like it only runs about half as long as that. It’s well crafted, well mannered and very well acted, though you may decide for yourself if all credit should go to Paulson. She draws out Duplass’ best merits as an actor, much as Amanda draws out the best in Jim: The more the film progresses, the brighter and more enthusiastic Duplass becomes, relishing every second he gets to be on screen with her. Their chemistry is palpable.—Andy Crump

sleepwalk-with-me.jpg 16. Sleepwalk With Me
Year: 2012
Director: Mike Birbiglia 
Charlie Chaplin once said, “To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it.” Mike Birbiglia takes the pain of a struggling comic, an unsure boyfriend and a scared sleep-disorder patient, and plays with these mounting problems for our amusement. Not many sleep-disorder stories—even those first shared with Ira Glass on This American Life—have ever been as funny as Birbiglia’s.—Monica Castillo

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