The Best Rom-Coms on Netflix

For all your meet-cute and witty banter needs.

notting hill
'Notting Hill' | PolyGram Filmed Entertainment/Universal Pictures
'Notting Hill' | PolyGram Filmed Entertainment/Universal Pictures

Romantic comedies have a long history, summed up in a simple taxonomic phrase Drama 101 teachers like to use when discussing theatrical works from the Greeks through modernity: In tragedies, everyone (spoiler) dies in the end, and in comedies, everyone (spoiler) gets married in the end. 

So laughter and romance have gone hand-in-hand for millennia, and while the explosion of arts and entertainment has created countless new subgenres and riffs on old themes, the classic romantic comedy is still going strong—it's even in the midst of a revival. The next time you want to watch a movie that feels like a warm blanket, check out one of these titles on Netflix. Don't forget, there's plenty of other great movies on Netflix for whenever a different mood strikes. 

about time
Universal Pictures

About Time (2013)

If you had the chance to orchestrate the perfect meet-cute between you and the one missed connection you've never forgotten about, would you? This fantastical rom-com from Love Actually director Richard Curtis explores that concept and the ramifications that could come as a result, focusing on a time-traveling young man (Domhnall Gleeson) who uses his ability to find the love of his life. Together with Rachel McAdams, the pair is incredibly charming navigating the space-time continuum to be together, and like Curtis’ other works, About Time is about a lot more than just love—it's a meditation on family and what permanence means in a world where time rolls on unabated. 

always be my maybe
Ed Araquel/Netflix

Always Be My Maybe (2019)

This Netflix original movie stars Randall Park and Ali Wong as two close friends everyone else expected to end up together romantically, but who've only ever been friends. When the two reconnect later in life, of course they have the opportunity to rekindle their relationship as something more, but not without a few missteps—one of which comes in the form of a scene-stealing appearance by Keanu Reeves. The two comedic stars bring the kind of chemistry that makes famous rom-coms of yesteryear work, and the result is an exciting new entry to the canon of a tried-and-true genre.

the artist
Warner Bros. France

The Artist (2011)

Ever since Hollywood got its hands on technicolor, black and white has merely been a rare stylistic choice for filmmakers, and directors have moved even further away from silent films ever since "the talkies" made their debut in the late 1920s. That doesn't mean film aficionados have fallen out of love with silent films or lost respect for them—and no better movie in recent history has immortalized their staying power as The Artist. The French film is both an Old Hollywood style movie and an homage to the craft, telling the love story between a rising young starlet (Bérénice Bejo) looking forward to the modernization of movies and a silent film veteran (Jean Dujardin). The Best Picture winner is playful in its choices, meaning any lover of cinema should fall head over heels for it.

crazy stupid love
Warner Bros. Pictures

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

Many of us could probably learn a thing or two about romance and seduction from the ultra-charming Ryan Gosling. Steve Carell takes his advice (to some success) in this lovable comedy about a middle-aged man separated from his wife (Julianne Moore) and trying to get his game back with the help of a young playboy (Gosling). It's the interconnected kind of rom-com that actually works, largely because of the all-star cast and the transfixing chemistry between Gosling and frequent co-star Emma Stone. The movie may ultimately have more heart than it does sex appeal (although, Gosling's Dirty Dancing-inspired trick to get girls into bed is interesting), but even as it proves how tough love can be, it's an easy flick to fall for.

friends with benefits
Sony Pictures Releasing

Friends With Benefits (2011)

You may remember 2011 as the year that now-married couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis made essentially the same movie with different co-stars. Friends With Benefits—not to be confused with the Kutcher-starring No Strings Attached—is Kunis' team up with Justin-Timberlake, and any rom-com fan in their right mind knows this is the superior of the two movies. The formula may be familiar—a pair of straight, single, platonic friends testing the boundaries of their relationship—but it's the leads' palpable charm and the way they breezily play off each other's wit that gives this one all of the benefits it has. 

legally blonde
MGM Distribution Co.

Legally Blonde (2001)

This sweet, effervescent rom-com about a Malibu sorority girl transplanted to Harvard Law School was the role that made Reese Witherspoon a star. Her Elle Woods could have been a ditzy caricature, but instead, Witherspoon exudes intellect and charm, whether she's bending-and-snapping at the salon or solving a murder trial with her knowledge of perm maintenance. It's also the rare rom-com that's actually funny; laugh-out-loud performances and ridiculously quotable lines ("You got into Harvard Law?" "What? Like it's hard?") turn Legally Blonde into an endlessly rewatchable cult classic. 

the lovebirds
Skip Bolen/Netflix

The Lovebirds (2020)

Sometimes the comedy part of the rom-com equation doesn't always pull through. That's far from the case in the "date night gone wrong" flick The Lovebirds, though. It's actually about a pair (played by the hilarious duo of Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae) who aren't really lovebirds anymore and, just as they're breaking up, find themselves caught up in a wild murder mystery. Trying to uncover what happened (and save their own asses) over the course of one night, the movie takes the bickering pair to some bizarre places that all lead to one mega-weird, Eyes Wide Shut-like sex cult. It's a silly romp but the chemistry of the leads keep you at the edge of your seat, both cracking up and hoping they'll get past the real crime that is their break up and just get back together already. 

my best friend's wedding
TriStar Pictures

My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)

In this upside-down version of a rom-com, the bitchy best friend trying to ruin the relationship of the happy couple is the star of the movie. One of the most triumphant scenes in all of film history is when Julia Roberts tries to humiliate Cameron Diaz by making her do karaoke (a moment those of us with terrible singing voices fear at our core), and instead, Diaz has the whole bar clapping and singing along. For the rest of the movie, we cheer for Diaz and the sadly boring Dermot Mulroney to live happily ever after, at first just to spite Roberts, and then because of how much their love for one another shines through.

mystic pizza
The Samuel Goldwyn Company

Mystic Pizza (1988)

There are a lot of Julia Roberts movies on this list, but only one was her breakthrough role. The young star is one of the many bright, starry-eyed faces in this comedy—Matt Damon made his actual debut here—about two teenaged sisters (Roberts and Annabeth Gish) and their friend (Lili Taylor) who work at a pizza parlor in a small Connecticut town. It's a quintessential coming-of-age story, following the young women as they experience first loves and first heartbreaks, which in turn teaches them a thing or two about themselves and who they want to be. With their friendship at the helm and the quaint town as the backdrop, it's as comforting and warm as the pies the girls serve. 

notting hill
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment/Universal Pictures

Notting Hill (1999)

In an appeal to nerdy women everywhere, Hugh Grant plays a London bookshop owner who falls in love with famous American actress Julia Roberts (who more or less plays herself). Let's be honest: We all wanted to move to London and haunt bookstores for our own Hugh Grant after seeing this movie. There are many hilarious moments throughout Notting Hill, all made funnier by Grant's straight face, but the wacky Welsh roommate posing in his underwear for the paparazzi slays. Grant and Roberts have the predictable struggles of a commoner dating an A-lister, but their at-first tentative, then enduring love for one another makes us root for them to live happily ever after.

scott pilgrim vs the world
Universal Pictures

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World isn’t your average romantic comedy. There’s a lot of comic-inspired ass kicking and super villianous ex-boyfriends, as well as not so great original garage band music. While ridiculous, these oddities in a movie about a bass player (Michael Cera) on a quest to win the heart of a special Ramona Flowers by defeating her evil exes give the genre some much needed action. From director Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Shaun of the Dead), the film is uniquely stylized and has the right amount of teenage flare to make it a cult classic. What’s dreamier than a boy fighting evil exes from hell for the sake of love? 

set it up

Set It Up (2018)

In Set It Up, Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell’s Harper and Charlie are dying to catch a break from their needy workaholic bosses, which prompts the two assistants to pawn their overbearing managers off onto one another—like, romantically. With their on-point comedic timing and matchmaker antics, the two find themselves setting up their own relationship without even realizing it. The Netflix movie recalls what made quintessential rom-com classics so easily watchable and hilarious: a strong connection between two spearheading leads. It'll feel like you’re watching one of your favorites from the '90s, updated with anxious, though equally as warm, millennials. 

she's gotta have it
Island Pictures

She's Gotta Have It (1986)

Before checking out Spike Lee's Netflix original series of the same name, be sure to catch up with where it all began. Nola (Tracy Camilla Johns) juggles three men during her sexual pinnacle, and it's all working out until they discover one another. She's Gotta Have It takes some dark turns, but each revelation speaks volumes about what real romantic independence is all about.

someone great
Sarah Shatz/Netflix

Someone Great (2019)

Writer/director Jennifer Kaytin Robin's Someone Great isn't your typical romantic comedy. Instead of watching a meet cute grow into something special, this one's about the demise of a relationship. It's by no means bleak, though—it's much more original, and even sweeter for it. Following a music journalist (Gina Rodriguez) who experiences a devastating breakup with her longtime boyfriend (LaKeith Stanfield) as she lands her dream job across the country, she and her friends (Britney Snow, DeWanda Wise) decide to have one last wild night before she moves out of the city. Reflecting on her relationship throughout, it's a feel good flick about piecing your heart back together by both remembering the good, and having the right support system to let you cope. 

stranger than fiction
Columbia Pictures

Stranger Than Fiction. (2006)

Will Ferrell is a lot less Ron Burgundy and much more endearing in this comedy, playing your typical, monotonous I.R.S. auditor who… must defend his life to Emma Thompson, who is planning on killing him. Sort of. Centered around a Charlie Kaufman-like suspension of reality concept, Ferrell's character comes to the realization that he's the character in an author's (Thompson) latest work and she controls everything in his life, from his lunch and love life to his death. As he sets out to meet and stop her, this grim story turns out to be a surprisingly charming work about finding your way again once it seems you've lost yourself.

to all the boys i've loved before

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018)

What if your private letters to your crushes weren't private, but wound up in the hands of aforementioned crushes? It's a teen nightmare! That’s what happens to leading lady Lara Jean (Lana Condor) in this Netflix original based on Jenny Han’s best-selling YA novel. To brush over the embarrassment of one letter ending up in the mailbox of her neighbor, best friend, and sister’s ex-boyfriend Josh, Lara Jean pretends to date another former crush, Peter Kavinsky—and it turns out fake-dating can inadvertently lead to a lot of real feelings. To All the Boys has been hailed as a near perfect rom-com for its diversity, sincerity, and undeniable chemistry between Lara Jean and Peter. If you’ve felt the genre has been lacking recently—and need a perfect gentlemanly heartthrob to crush on—To All the Boys I've Loved Before is for you.

two weeks notice
Warner Bros. Pictures

Two Weeks Notice (2002)

There are actors who star in rom-coms and then there are rom-com stars. Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock are two of the latter, appearing in more than a few of the genre's classics. This movie, from Bullock's Miss Congeniality collaborator Marc Lawrence, sees the two actors playing complete opposites who realize they've had feelings for one another all along. It may not be the best of its kind—especially with a Lifetime-esque plot of a do-gooder lawyer trying to change the corporate sphere form the inside out by working for a successful playboy—but it wins its case by hitting all the snarky, cute rom-com cues you could hope for.

zack and miri make a porno
The Weinstein Company

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

It's possible you've never seen this Seth Rogen movie, his sole collaboration with director Kevin Smith. In Zack and Miri, a pair of down-on-their-luck roommates (Rogen and Elizabeth Banks) aim to squash their pile of utility bills by making a Star Wars porn parody. While the movie didn't find much of an audience in 2008, Smith told us that he and Rogen were suuuuuper high while editing the finished product, which should indicate if this silly comedy is for you. But even in all of the silliness (and there’s a lot of it), as the heat turns up on the coffee-shop-turned-porn-set, feelings do too and you’re dying for the best friend leads to finally get it on.

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