The best romantic comedies on Netflix

Love is a tricky thing. It’s hard to find and even harder to keep. And sometimes, it leaves a lot of heartbreak in its wake. That’s one of the reasons why romantic comedies can be so therapeutic. There’s rarely an unhappy ending for the people whose hearts come together in these movies. More importantly, these flicks are designed to make us laugh instead of cry. Trust us, laughing is a lot more fun.

Netflix has a pretty rich lineup of romantic comedies from other studios. Additionally, there’s an ever-growing roster of Netflix original flicks that are only making that number even bigger month after month. Are you having trouble keeping up with all of the choices? Don’t worry. You may not be able to hurry love, but we’ve already put together a list of Netflix’s best romantic comedies.

We’ve also curated a post highlighting the best rom-coms on Amazon Prime, just in case Netflix doesn’t have what you’re looking for.

The Incredible Jessica James

The Incredible Jessica James (2017)

The Daily Show veteran Jessica Williams has a star-making turn as the title character in The Incredible Jessica James. Fresh off of a break up with her boyfriend, Damon (Lakeith Stanfield), Jessica unexpectedly hits it off with a recently divorced man named Boone (Chris O’Dowd). The pair bond over their common stalkings of their exes via social media, and they decide to make some changes in their lives for their mutual benefit. However, Damon still lingers on Jessica’s mind, and Boone’s ex isn’t as out of the picture as Jessica is led to believe.

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Stars: Jessica Williams, Chris O’Dowd, Noël Wells, Lakeith Stanfield
Director: James C. Strouse
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 96 minutes

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She's Gotta Have It

She’s Gotta Have It (1986)

Spike Lee’s directorial debut was a daring black and white romantic drama/comedy called She’s Gotta Have It. He even co-stars in the film. However, the movie really belongs to Tracy Camilla Johns’ Nola Darling, a woman who completely rejects traditional relationships. Instead, Nola openly dates three men simultaneously: Jamie Overstreet (Tommy Redmond Hicks), Greer Childs (John Canada Terrell), and Mars Blackmon (Lee). Regardless, Nola’s trio becomes dissatisfied when they finally meet each other, because they all want her to themselves. But she’s much too independent to ever be tied down to anyone. She’s Gotta Have It is part of Netflix’s Black Lives Matter collection.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Stars: Tracy Camilla Johns, Redmond Hicks, John Canada Terrell, Spike Lee
Director: Spike Lee
Rating: R
Runtime: 84 minutes

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The Perfect Date

The Perfect Date (2019)

Noah Centineo is certainly making his name as Netflix’s go-to romantic foil in To All the Boys I’ve Ever Loved and Sierra Burgess Is a Loser. But Centineo takes the leading role in The Perfect Date as Brooks Rattigan, a high school student who is desperate to get into Yale. With the help of his friends, Murph (Odiseas Georgiadis) and Celia Lieberman (Laura Marano), Brooks launches an app that lets him hire himself out as the perfect plus-one to any female companion. He also pursues Celia’s rich cousin, Shelby Pace (Camila Mendes), while crossing some moral lines that ultimately force him to question who he is becoming.

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Stars: Noah Centineo, Laura Marano, Odiseas Georgiadis, Camila Mendes
Director: Chris Nelson
Rating: TV-14
Runtime: 90 minutes

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I Am Not An Easy Man

I Am Not an Easy Man (2018)

We would not be surprised if there is an eventual English language remake of the French comedy, I Am Not an Easy Man. In the meantime, this is an ideal example of why subtitles were invented. Vincent Elbaz stars in the film as Damien, an unapologetic womanizer. However, a head injury lands Damien in a world that he barely recognizes. In this apparent alternate universe, women have all of the power, and Damien is routinely mocked and sexually harassed by the opposite sex. The lone bright spot is a novelist named Alexandra (Marie-Sophie Ferdane), because she and Damien may be kindred spirits.

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Stars: Vincent Elbaz, Marie-Sophie Ferdane, Pierre Bénézit, Moon Dailly
Director: Éléonore Pourriat
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 98 minutes

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50 First Dates

50 First Dates (2004)

When you see Adam Sandler, you probably don’t think romantic comedy, but here we are. 50 First Dates has its share of crude, lewd humor, but it also has a more prevalent share of cute humor. Sandler plays Henry, a playboy marine veterinarian at a Hawaiian aquarium who one day stumbles across Lucy (Drew Barrymore). What he doesn’t know, however, is that Lucy suffers from chronic short-term memory loss, making her relive the same day over and over. Her doting father, brother, and the entire community have bought in to help her have the best life possible, but Henry is an unexpected variable. Falling head over heels, Henry sets out on a mission to help Lucy regain her memory while simultaneously winning the trust of her extremely suspicious support system.

Rotten Tomatoes: 45%
Stars: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Rob Schneider
Director: Peter Segal
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 96 minutes

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Yes God Yes

Yes, God, Yes (2019)

How do you deal with the unrelenting sexual impulses of adolescence when you’re constantly told that they’re evil and must be suppressed at all costs? You have a crisis of conscience! Alice (Natalia Dyer) is a good Catholic girl who does all the right things. But when an AOL chat surprisingly turns sexy, she’s suddenly overcome with temptation and all these confusing thoughts!

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Stars: Natalia Dyer, Susan Blackwell
Director: Karen Maine
Rating:
R
Runtime:
78 minutes

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Scott Pilgrim vs. The World on Netflix

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

This movie may not be technically classified as a romantic comedy — it’s more of an action-comedy with a romantic foundation. And in our book, that’s a pretty great mix. Based on the graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley, the title character (Michael Cera) has to battle his new girlfriend’s seven evil exes before he can win her heart. As a slacker musician, he has his work cut out for him as he fights everyone from a Hollywood actor to a super-powered vegan. Released in 2010, the film has garnered a cult following for its savvy mix of comedy, surrealist action, and heart.

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Stars: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Director: Edgar Wright
Rating: 
PG-13
Runtime: 
113 minutes

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The Knight Before Christmas

The Knight Before Christmas (2019)

The Knight Before Christmas is basically a Hallmark Channel movie that was just made for Netflix instead. So, it’s a standard time-travel romantic flick that just happens to take place around Christmas. But there’s something charming about this earnest flick that doesn’t even really try to get all of the historical facts right. In the distant past, a young knight named Sir Cole (Josh Whitehouse) goes on a quest that ultimately leaves him stranded in the far future. That would be the present for us. It’s almost love at first sight for Brooke Winters (Vanessa Hudgens) when she accidentally smacks Sir Cole with her car. While Brooke initially believes that Cole lost his memory, she finds herself drawn to his genuine warmth and his good old-fashioned chivalry.

Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
Stars: Vanessa Hudgens, Josh Whitehouse, Emmanuelle Chriqui
Director: Monika Mitchell
Rating: TV-14
Runtime: 92 minutes

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The Half of It

The Half of It (2020)

The Half of It takes a bit of inspiration from Cyrano de Bergerac and makes the formula its own. In this case, Leah Lewis (Ellie Chu) plays the Cyrano role, as she reluctantly agrees to help Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer) pursue the girl of his dreams, Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire). The problem is that Aster is already the girl of Leah’s dreams. But to make ends meet, Leah agrees to coach Paul so he can get closer to Aster. Of course, Paul and Leah get close as well. But the film never loses sight of who Leah really wants to be with, or what she wants out of life. Leah can’t get everything she desires, but she does have a transformative experience that allows her to grow and become the person she was always meant to be.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Alexxis Lemire
Director: Alice Wu
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 104 minutes

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The Lovebirds on Netflix
Skip Bolen / Netflix

The Lovebirds (2020)

Getting decent reviews since it was released in late May, this film stars Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani as a couple on the brink of breakup. After they witness a murder, they decide to go on the run to avoid being blamed for something they didn’t do. Forced to stay together under such unexpected circumstances, they begin to reconnect in new ways. The two stars are lauded for their performances and chemistry. As a follow-up to The Big Sick, which got rave reviews, this isn’t director Michael Showalter’s best project (he did, after all, co-create the Wet Hot American Summer franchise). But it’s a worthy watch for a fresh and modern take on the typical rom-com.

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Stars: Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae
Director: Michael Showalter
Rating: 
R
Runtime:
90 minutes

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Silver Linings Playbook on Netflix

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Although its premise is fairly bleak, Silver Linings Playbook is one of the more refreshingly honest, realistic romantic comedies you’ll find. The movie follows Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), a man who has lost everything, including his house, his job, and his wife, and has spent the last eight months living in a state mental institution on a plea bargain. Determined to recapture his life, Pat sets out to reunite with his wife and put everything back to how it was. His parents, with whom he’s living now, would prefer if he just put his energy into being a Philadelphia Eagles fan. When he meets his eccentric neighbor Tiffany, he enlists her help to get his wife back. But Tiffany wants something in return: Pat’s participation in a couples dance contest that Tiffany is devoted to winning.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro
Director: David O. Russell
Rating:
R
Runtime: 
122 minutes

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She's Gotta Have It, on Netflix

She’s Gotta Have It (1986)

Written and directed by Spike Lee, this film helped launch his career back in 1986. In the Mama Mia-like premise, a young woman is dating three men at the same time, each very different from one another. She likes them all for different reasons and thus finds it difficult to commit to just one. Far ahead of its time, the film is more about self-love than anything else. Follow it up with Lee’s 2017 modern series adaptation of the film, also available on Netflix.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Stars: Tracy Camilla Johns, Tommy Redmond Hicks, John Terrell
Director: Spike Lee
Rating:
R
Runtime:
85 minutes

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My Best Friend's Wedding

My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

Believe it or not, Julia Roberts is essentially the villain of My Best Friend’s Wedding. She plays Julianne Potter, a woman who made a pact with her friend, Michael O’Neal (Dermot Mulroney), to get hitched to each other if they didn’t find suitable romantic partners by the time they turned 28. However, Michael finds the love of his life in Cameron Diaz’s Kimberly Wallace just when Julianne realizes that she loves him. That’s why Julianne does almost everything she can think of to sabotage the wedding and win Michael for herself. Rupert Everett just about walks away with the movie, thanks to a dynamite turn as Julianne’s friend, George Downes. George briefly pretends to be a straight man engaged to Julianne, and Everett is hilarious as George tries to keep up the deception.

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Stars: Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz
Director: P.J. Hogan
Rating:
PG-13
Runtime:
104 minutes

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Gina Rodriguez and Lakeith Stanfield in Someone Great

Someone Great (2019)

Someone Great isn’t a typical romantic comedy, and that’s one of the reasons the film’s primary romance ends early. On the verge of a cross-country move, Jenny Young (Gina Rodriguez) is blindsided when her longtime boyfriend, Nate Davis (Lakeith Stanfield) breaks up with her. Distraught, Jenny turns to her best gal pals, Blair Helms (Brittany Snow) and Erin Kennedy (DeWanda Wise); both of whom have troubled romantic entanglements of their own. To complicate matters, Jenny can’t seem to escape Nate’s shadow. Jenny has to determine if she even wants Nate back. But it’s the friendship between the three women that really turns this film into an uplifting story.

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Stars: Gina Rodriguez, Brittany Snow, DeWanda Wise, Lakeith Stanfield
Director: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Rating:
R
Runtime:
92 minutes

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Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell in Set It Up, on Netflix

Set It Up (2018)

Sometimes, even characters in romantic comedies know the rules of engagement. In Set It Up, assistants Harper Moore (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie Young (Glen Powell) realize that their respective bosses, Kirsten Stevens (Lucy Liu) and Rick Otis (Taye Diggs) need a little love in their lives. However, arranging a romance between Kirsten and Rick is easier said than done. Meanwhile, Harper and Charlie’s relationships start to hit the skids just as they slowly realize they might be right for each other too. It’s a sweet story, and one of the best Netflix original romances.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Taye Diggs, Lucy Liu
Director: Claire Scanlon
Rating:
TV-MA
Runtime:
105 minutes

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Falling Inn Love on Netflix

Falling Inn Love (2019)

Admittedly, Falling Inn Love has a very punny and predictive title. But no one can say that it doesn’t deliver on its premise. On a whim, Gabriela Diaz (Christina Milian) enters a contest to win an inn in New Zealand. However, her good fortune is seemingly fleeting when she discovers that the inn is terribly run down. Fortunately, local boy Dean Conner (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman) holds the key to restoring the inn and finding a way to Gabriela’s heart. Dean and Gabriela form a business partnership, but that partnership becomes something more as they face challenges from Gabriela’s ex and the community as well.

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Stars: Christina Milian, Adam Demos, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman
Director: Roger Kumble
Rating:
TV-PG
Runtime:
98 minutes

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Lady Bird on Netflix

Lady Bird (2017)

Lady Bird is one of the most mature movies about first love that you’ll find. Driven by powerhouse performances from Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf as a mother and daughter who can hardly live in the same house yet deep-down are terrified by the impending adventure of college, Greta Gerwig’s take on the last year of high school is beautiful, profound, and very, very funny. Ronan plays Lady Bird, an intrepid, bright Sacramento high schooler who keeps looking ahead to college on the East Coast as life keeps on happening right in front of her. From navigating her rocky relationship with her mother to the trials of first love, there’s so much Lady Bird has to learn.

Rotten Tomatoes: 99%
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Timothee Chalamet
Director: Greta Gerwig
Rating:
R
Runtime:
93 minutes

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About Time on Netflix

About Time (2013)

Starring Rachel McAdams, Domhnall Gleeson, and Bill Nighy, this 2013 British film blends traditional rom-com themes with a sci-fi twist. The film follows Gleeson as a young man who discovers he can travel through time. In doing so, he hopes to change his past to improve his love life, taking us on a journey of his most poignant moments and deepest regrets. Also featuring Margot Robbie and Vanessa Kirby, the film is a bit sappy, but great performances and an intriguing plot carry it through for a heartwarming watch.

Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Stars: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy
Director: Richard Curtis
Rating:
R
Runtime:
123 minutes

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Always Be My Maybe on Netflix

Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Comedian Ali Wong both wrote and stars in this 2019 film as Sasha, a woman who reunites with Marcus (Fresh Off The Boat‘s Randall Park), a childhood friend and one-time fling, when she returns to her hometown of San Francisco. There’s a clear chemistry between them but Sasha has a demanding career and the timing is always off, especially when Marcus discovers Sasha’s new celebrity love interest: Keanu Reeves (yes, he’s in the movie!) Will they finally realize they’re meant for one another? The film has been almost universally liked, and praised for its ability to layer typical rom-com tropes with “smart social commentary.”

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Stars: Ali Wong, Randall Park, Keanu Reeves
Director: Nahnatchka Khan
Rating:
PG-13
Runtime:
102 minutes

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To All the Boys- P.S. I Still Love You on Netflix

To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (2020)

Following the success of the 2018 teen rom-com To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, this sequel continues to tell the love story between Lara Jean and Peter, who are now a full-fledged couple. It covers all of the necessary ingredients for a teen rom-com, including all the firsts (kiss, date), the supportive friends, and the trials and tribulations of navigating a new relationship. This Netflix original has been well-received, referred to as an “amiable postscript to its predecessors, and a “swoon-worthy sequel.”

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Stars: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo
Director: Michael Fimognari
Rating:
TV-14
Runtime:
101 minutes

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Ali's Wedding on Netflix

Ali’s Wedding (2017)

This Australian film from 2017 is one of the, if not the first, Muslim rom-coms. The story follows Ali, a musically inclined young Muslim man struggling with his desire to be with one woman when he has been promised to another by his family. The film touches upon universal ideas about relationships that anyone can relate to despite the very specific and cultural setting.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Osamah Sami, Helana Sawires
Director: Jeffrey Walker
Rating:
TV-MA
Runtime:
100 minutes

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Safety Not Guaranteed on Netflix

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

This film is inspired by a joke classified ad that ran in a 1997 edition of Backwoods Home Magazine asking for someone to “go back in time” with the person who claimed to have done it already “once before.” Anyone who responds, notes the ad, will get paid but must bring their own weapons. Wait, what? This hilarious rom-com sees a curious team at the magazine investigate the want ad, though one man has an ulterior motive: An excuse to visit the town to seek out a long-lost love. And so, the adventure begins.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Rating: PG
Runtime: 86 minutes

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