Best romantic comedies on Netflix (Updated in September 2018): Based on author Jenny Han's 2014 best-selling young adult romance novel, Netflix's 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' is set to premiere on the streaming platform this coming August 17. The trailer for the romcom seemed to indicate that that the Susan Johnson-directed venture will do justice to the highly popular novel, and this should come as little surprise considering the effort that went in to secure the movie rights in the first place. Will Smith's Overlook Entertainment won that particular battle and Sofia Alvarez (Man Seeking Woman) was brought on board to adapt the book to the screen, and soon enough, it may just prove to be one of the sleeper hits of the year.
'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' sees Netflix continue on its quest to stock up its library with more original content — it recently committed $6 billion with the view of financing 470 original TV shows and movies — and get a leg up on its competitors. But while you wait for the movie's release, the streaming giant also boasts of a repertoire of quite a few amazing romcoms, some original, that you can watch to bide your time. We've rounded up 10 of the best romanctic comedies on Netflix (in no particular order) to make your task a little easier for you.
#10 Love Actually
No one expected 'Love Actually' to make such a large impact in the box office, but the Christmas-themed romantic comedy went on to earn $245 million on a $45 million budget; quite the respectable sum for 2003. Boasting a star-packed ensemble on impossibly good-looking actors and actresses, the prediction was that the Richard Curtis-directed movie was a little too ambitious for its own good but instead it proved to be, in the words of Variety's Todd McCarthy, "a doggedly cheery confection."
The comedy is set five weeks before Christmas and is played out in a weekly countdown until the holiday. Its unique premise involves exploration of the different aspects of love as shown through ten separate stories involving a wide variety of individuals, many of whom are later shown to be interlinked to one another as the story progresses. The opinion on 'Love Actually' has changed quite a bit over the years, with many now regarding it as a modern-day Christmas classic.
#9 50 First Dates
Adam Sandler has become quite the divisive figure today, at least amongst the denizens of the internet. While undoubtedly talented, the actor has had a knack for picking roles in spectacularly terrible movies; a fact corroborated by his three Raspberry Awards (the second highest ever). But '50 First Dates' is undoubtedly one of his better movies, with the romantic comedy earning close to $200 million at the box office.
Featuring Sandler as a veterinarian, '50 First Dates' follows the actor as he attempts Drew Barrymore's Lucy to fall in love with them. There is one little catch, however, and that's to do with Lucy being an amnesiac whose memory wipes itself clean every 24 hours. The result is a light-hearted film where Sandler's and Barrymore's excellent on-screen chemistry is on full show and whose crude humor is somehow quite endearing.
#8 Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
Michael Cera is quite possibly the most typecasted actor in Hollywood. His boyish looks, soft-spoken nature, and shy demeanor has seen him cast in almost the same role every movie, but the producers of 'Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist' are unlikely to complain. After all, the movie did gross thrice its $10 million budget on release in 2008.
Based on Rachel Cohn's and David Levithan's novel of the same name, 'Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist' tells the story of two teenagers, Nick (Cera) and Norah (Kat Dennings), who meet when Norah asks Nick to pretend to be her boyfriend for five minutes. But over the course of the night, as they try to find their favorite band's secret show as well as Nick's drunken friend, they realize they're quite possibly perfect for one another. The movie features two leads with excellent chemistry and a wonderful soundtrack and is ideal for a 10-pm Saturday night binge.
#7 Up in the Air
'Up in the Air' proved to be quite popular with the critics, with the National Board of Review and the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association naming it the best picture of 2009; quite the lofty honor. Written and directed by Jason Reitman of 'Juno' fame, the romcom also proved to be a hit amongst audiences, earning $166 million on a $25 million budget.
Featuring a star-studded cast of George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, and Danny McBride, 'Up in the Air' was adapted from Walter Kirn's 2001 novel of the same name and centers on corporate 'downsizer' Ryan Bingham (Clooney) and his travels. But when he's acquainted with Kendrick's Natalie Weener, a young and ambitious new hire at his company, he begins to question the philosophies he's carried with him his entire life. Punctuated with charismatic performances from all the leads, as well as a perfect blend of humor, emotion, and tension, 'Up in the Air' is arguably one of the best romantic comedies of this century.
#6 Alex Strangelove
'Alex Strangelove' had its world premiere at the San Francisco International Film Festival this past April before releasing on Netflix in June, proving to be quite a satisfying watch. Written and directed by Craig Johnson, the film stars Daniel Doheny, Antonio Marziale, and Madeline Weinstein and follows high school student Alex Truelove (Doheny) as he tackles the teenage years and ponders on his sexuality. He's dating long-time best friend Claire (Weinstein) but after repeatedly putting off sex, comes to realize that he has feelings for Elliot (Marziale), an openly gay teenager.
Despite tackling what some may perceive as a sensitive issue, 'Alex Strangelove' still manages to present itself in a light-hearted and jovial manner, never taking itself too seriously. Honest and sweet, the comedy adds an intriguing spin to a genre that has once again resorted to revisiting old and tired tropes.
#5 Set It Up
Executives at Netflix will be hoping that 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' sees success similar to that of 'Set It Up.' Directed by Claire Scanlon, the comedy released with little fanfare on the platform on June 15, but soon grabbed everyone's attention with its cheery and jovial take on romance, offering audiences a throwback to simpler times. Despite following a well-established routine and blueprint, 'Set It Up' still proves worth a watch, ensuring it cranks up the cliches to just the right amount.
'Set It Up' follows Harper Moore (Zoey Dutch), the 23-year-old hard-working assistant to editor Kirsten (Lucy Liu), and Glen Powell (Charlie Young), the 28-year-old assistant to the high-strung venture capitalist Rick (Taye Diggs). The pair work in the same building and inadvertently run into one another when their bosses need dinner. When they find that both their bosses are quite intolerable, they decide to set up one with the other in the hope they'll become better people, in the process realizing they might just do well together too.
#4 Sleeping With Other People
'Sleeping With Other People' stars Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Natasha Lyonne, Amanda Peet, and Adam Scott, and first premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in January 2015. Directed by Leslye Headland, best known for the play and 2012 film 'Bachelorette,' the movie proved to be refreshingly funny, which was no doubt aided by the leading pair Brie's and Sudeikis's likeability and chemistry.
Lainey (Brie) and Jake (Sudeikis) first sleep with one another in 2002 when the former visits the dorms at Columbia University to lose her virginity to then-boyfriend Matt (Adam Scott). Fast forward to more than a decade later, both have relationship problems — Jake has commitment issues and Lainey is a serial cheater — and run into one another at a sex addicts meeting. While they initially decide their new rekindled friendship should be platonic, fate has other plans.
#3 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' is based off Jesse Andrews' 2012 debut novel of the same name and premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival to a standing ovation. The movie stars Thomas Mann as Greg Gaines, an awkward, lanky, and self-loathing 18-year-old who finds himself at odds with the various cliques at his Schenley High School. Forced to once again befriend childhood friend Rachel Kushner (Olivia Cooke) by his parents because she's dying from leukemia, Gaines is initially apprehensive but soon warms up to her. When he introduces Rachel to longtime co-worker Earl (RJ Cyler), the dynamic becomes a little more complicated.
While 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' did not perform spectacularly at the box office — it earned $9.1 million on an $8 million budget — critics widely lauded the movie, calling it a "beautifully charming and captivating knock-out." Perfectly cast and armed with a very well-written script, the romantic comedy is perhaps one of the most under-appreciated films of our time.
#2 Crazy, Stupid, Love
Another one of those movies featuring several A-Listers — Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Marissa Tomei, and Kevin Bacon to name a few — 'Crazy, Stupid, Love' followed the story of a recently divorced man Cal Weaver (Carrell) who wants to now rediscover his manhood and is taught how to pick up women at shady bars. The movie went on gross $142 million and saw Gosling nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance as Jacob Palmer, a womanizer who beds a new woman every night. The duo complement each another perfectly, setting you up for two hours of side-splitting laughter, and of course, a poignant ending.
Described as a 'sweet romantic comedy about good-hearted people,' 'Crazy, Stupid, Love' rarely has moments that leave you bored, with the Los Angeles Times' Betsy Sharkey describing the movie quite aptly as "conjuring up the bittersweet magic of first loves, lasting loves, lost loves and all the loves in between."
#1 Midnight in Paris
If you're the type who gets convinced to give a movie a try based on its cast, look no farther than 'Midnight in Paris.' The fantasy comedy features the likes of Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Carla Bruni, Marion Cotillard, and Michael Sheen, but that shouldn't be the only reason you should watch it. Combining elements of science fiction and romance, 'Midnight in Paris' explores the themes of nostalgia and modernism through the eyes of Wilson's Gil Pender. Stuck in a loveless relationship, Gil is forced to confront its shortcomings as he mysteriously travels back in time each midnight.
Funny, charming, and sentimental, the Woody Allen-directed movie released to universal acclaim and was labeled by many as one of the best romantic comedies in recent years. 'Midnight in Paris' is classic Allen, summed up by Time's Richard Corliss as "a distillation of the filmmaker's passions and crotchets, and of his tendency to pass draconian judgment on characters the audience is not supposed to like."