The romantic comedy is a genre that will probably never wear out as the best films capture the foibles and frustrations of modern relationships with an ease and humor that can keep anyone entertained. The best romantic comedies on Netflix consist of films now considered either cult or mainstream classics. Below are the best romantic comedies on Netflix and their worldwide availability, sorted by their average IMDb rating.
10. Save the Last Dance (2001)
Release date on Netflix: October 1, 2013
Director: Thomas Carter
Runtime: 1 hour 52 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.2
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 53%
Streaming on: Netflix Australia, France, Germany, India, Lithuania, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. Unfortunately, this movie is no longer available for streaming on Netflix US. However, it is available through a Netflix DVD subscription!
This edgy, stylish, beautifully made romantic comedy will touch every emotional chord in your body. In the nearly two hours it takes to watch the film, you’ll want to laugh, cry, dance, fall in love, and rage at the world. The film showcases a range of talented, and quite gorgeous, actors who would go on to be big names in later years.
Sara (Julia Stiles) is a young white girl living with her mother in suburbs. She is a dancer who aspires to gain admittance into Julliard. After her mother is killed in a car accident, Sara goes to live with her estranged father, a Jazz musician, in a hard-scrabble Chicago neighborhood. There, while finishing her last senior year in the much less genteel settings of an inner-city high school, she meets Derek (Sean Michael Thomas) and his sister Chenille (Kerry Washington).
Chenille introduces Sara to Steppes, a local hip-hop club. She goes on to befriend Chenille and fall in love with Derek. And as she is drawn further and further into the world of hip-hop and the urban lifestyle, she finds new energy and inspiration to realize her life-long dream of getting into Julliard. A straight-to-video sequel followed which was so bad that it is best forgotten.
9. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
Release date on Netflix: August 17, 2015
Director: Lorene Scafaria
Runtime: 1 hour 41 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 55%
Streaming on: Netflix Australia, France, Germany, South Korea. Unfortunately, this movie is no longer available for streaming on Netflix US, but you can watch it through Netflix’s DVD service.
Starring Steve Carell as Dodge and Keira Knightley as Penny, his neighbor, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is set in the near future, during what might be the last days of humanity as we know it. After the threat of an asteroid hitting Earth spreads panic across the population and his wife leaves their home in a rush, Dodge receives a letter from his high school sweetheart about a reunion between the two and decides to accept the invitation. And since Penny just missed the last flight to see her family, she tags along.
But the journey they embark in is sprinkled with adventures and unforeseen events that bring the two closer together, ultimately falling in love with each other despite the significant age difference between them. Although RottenTomatoes only gave it a 55% freshness score on their Tomatometer, we consider this one of the best romantic comedies on Netflix at the moment.
8. Something’s Gotta Give (2003)
Release date on Netflix: June 30, 2015
Director: Nancy Meyers
Runtime: 2 hours 8 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%
Streaming on: Unfortunately, this movie is no longer available for streaming on Netflix US or other parts of the world, but you can watch it through Netflix’s DVD service.
Two legends of the screen head this brilliant film about middle age love. Diane Keaton, especially, makes a roaring comeback as Erica Barry, a successful 50-something-year-old playwright. Harry Sanborn, played by the thoroughly charming and watchable Jack Nicholson, is a music mogul who has a decades-old habit of dating very young women. The two meet at a beach house owned by Erica, who happens to be the mother of Harry’s latest conquest.
Erica, for obvious reasons, disapproves of the pair. After a rather strained dinner, the night unfolds in further turmoil when Harry has a heart attack during foreplay with his young girlfriend. Harry, on doctor’s orders, is forced to convalesce at Erica’s home. The two slug it out in a series of brilliant performances by two Hollywood icons. Diane Keaton received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress and won a Golden Globe in the category, which makes this one of her best romantic comedies on Netflix.
7. Sixteen Candles (1984)
Release date on Netflix: November 19, 2014
Director: John Hughes
Runtime: 1 hour 33 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.1
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%
Streaming on: Netflix Canada, UK, Brazil, Argentina, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea. Unfortunately, this movie is no longer available for streaming on Netflix US. However, it is available through a Netflix DVD subscription!
Starring Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall, this is one of the many John Hughes classics about growing up in the 80s. Samantha “Sam” Baker (Ringwald) is a high school sophomore. She awakes on the morning of her sixteenth birthday to discover that her entire family has forgotten it owing to the fact that her older sister is to marry the next day. But things are no better at school, either. Her attempts to pass a sex quiz to one of her friends fail, and the note ends up in the hands of the boy with whom she is infatuated. The note contains embarrassing personal information, including the fact that Sam is a virgin and is saving herself for him.
Sam returns home and learns that her grandparents are staying for the weekend. Accompanying the pair is a Chinese exchange student. They convince Sam to take Long Duk Dong to her school’s senior dance that night. The day’s embarrassment continues as Dong quickly hooks up with a large-breasted bombshell. A very young Anthony Michael Hall gives an excellent performance as a geeky classmate determined to bed Sam, and Ringwald and Hall both won Young Artist Awards for the film. Therefore, it’s safe to say it’s one of the best romantic comedies on Netflix.
6. Grease (1978)
Release date on Netflix: April 14, 2015
Director: Randal Kleiser
Runtime: 1 hour 50 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%
Streaming on: Netflix Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland. Unfortunately, this movie is no longer available for streaming on Netflix US. However, it is available through a Netflix DVD.
One of the most famous classic musicals of all time, Grease takes place in the ’50s in California and introduces us to Danny played by John Travolta and Sandy played by Olivia Newton-John. The two teens are happy to be in each other’s company for the remaining of the summer until Sandy is supposed to go back to Australia. However, plans change and she starts studying at the same high school as Danny. She quickly befriends the Pink Ladies, a group of popular girls, while Danny sticks to the group of Greasers he was already part of.
High school drama takes over for a while and after a hurtful rejection from Danny, Sophia goes out with one of the jocks, which motivates Danny to win her over. They both embark in a journey to find their true selves in an attempt to stretch out their summer romance.
This classic is one of the best romantic comedies on Netflix and is also featured on our list of good romance movies on Netflix – check it out!
5. Shakespeare In Love (1998)
Release date on Netflix: January 1, 2014
Director: John Madden
Runtime: 2 hours 3 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
Streaming on: Netflix France, the Netherlands, Switzerland. Unfortunately, this movie is no longer available for streaming on Netflix US.
Though wildly inaccurate in its historical detail, this 1998 film starring Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow was one of the best romantic comedies of that decade. The plot is centered on Shakespeare’s (Fiennes) writing of Romeo and Juliet. A young heiress (Paltrow), a theater enthusiast and follower of the playwright’s work, tries to pass herself off as a boy (acting was off-limits for women back then) in order to play the part of Juliet and she is cast for the part.
Filled with curiosity, Shakespeare follows her home one day and discovers her true identity. They engage in an affair. But things are complicated by the fact that the young heiress is promised to a prominent aristocrat (Colin Firth). The film was a runaway hit at the Oscars, winning seven awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Paltrow), and Best Supporting Actress (Dench); therefore, it’s safe to say it earned its place on this list of the best romantic comedies on Netflix.
4. Punch Drunk Love (2002)
Release date on Netflix: June 23, 2011
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Runtime: 1 hour 35 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.3
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%
Streaming on: Netflix India, Israel, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand. Unfortunately, this movie is no longer available for streaming on Netflix US. However, it is available through a Netflix DVD.
Adam Sandler reprises, yet again, the role of the lonely, lovable, emotionally stunted loser in this highly popular film. Barry Egan (Sandler) markets themed toilet plungers for a living. He lives with four overbearing sisters who abuse him regularly. The plot gets properly going when Barry witnesses a rather strange car accident, which leads him to an encounter with Lena (Emily Watson), a co-worker of one of his sisters. Lena arranged the encounter after seeing Barry in a family photo.
After witnessing the accident and meeting Lena, Barry returns home and calls a phone sex-line to cope with the coldness and drudgery of his life. The woman on the other line tries to extort money from him. When he refuses, she sends her brothers to his place to collect the dough. And this leads to the usual series of dopey, outrageous, geek-versus-world comedy we expect in Sandler movies. Although it received mixed reviews, we believe this is one of the best romantic comedies on Netflix thanks to how well it portrays the struggles of the man characters.
3. Begin Again (2013)
Release date on Netflix: April 27, 2016
Director: John Carney
Runtime: 1 hour 44 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%
Streaming on: Netflix Canada, Czech Republic, Hungary, Japan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain. Unfortunately, this movie is no longer available for streaming on Netflix US.
Begin Again tells the story of Gretta and Dave (played by Keira Knightley and Adam Levine) who have been together since high school and earn their living by writing songs. But after Dave rises to fame due to a new deal with a music label, the two begin to struggle with their relationship and eventually break up. Being on her own for the first time in years, Gretta is feeling lovelorn and is in a bad place – but this changes when a disgraced executive from the record label industry played by Mark Ruffalo hears her performance one night and is impressed with her talent.
During the next few weeks, the two embark on a mutually transformative collaboration that, despite its ups & downs, ends on a high note as Greta manages to succeed in the music industry. Definitely one of the best romantic comedies on Netflix, if we take a look at its IMDb and RottenTomatoes scores – and the plot and actors, are top notch, too!
2. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Release date on Netflix: September 16, 2014
Director: David O. Russell
Runtime: 2 hours 2 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.8
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
Streaming on: Netflix Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Spain. Unfortunately, this movie is no longer available for streaming on Netflix US. However, it is available through a DVD subscription!
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, two of the hottest stars of our generation, lead this intelligent, witty, and somewhat dark romantic comedy. Pat (Cooper) is released from a psychiatric hospital to the home of his parents (his father is played by Robert De Niro). He is determined to win back the affections of his estranged wife.
While doing so, he meets the recently widowed Tiffany (Lawrence) who offers to help him get his wife back if he enters a dance competition with her. The two are drawn closer to each other as they train and prepare for the competition. What follows is a string of unexpected twists and turns as the main characters of the film examine their relationships with one another. The film was nominated for 8 Academy Awards and Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress for her role; this movie is one of her best works and definitely one of the best romantic comedies on Netflix.
1. Amélie (2001)
Release date on Netflix: April 14, 2015
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Runtime: 2 hours 2 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%
Streaming on: Netflix US, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Sweden
Amélie, played by Audrey Tautou, is a young girl who has had an unconventional childhood as her hypochondriac father was highly concerned she has serious health issues. Because of this, her contact with people is very limited, she deeply struggles with this fact, and deals with it by creating an imaginary world filled to the brim with love, beauty, and acceptance.
After moving away from home and becoming a waitress, she finds that the previous tenant of the apartment she now lives in forgot a lost treasure as she sees it and decides to return it to him. The surprise and infectious happiness of the man determine Amélie to devote her future actions to those around her. But after a series of adventures with some interesting characters, to say the least, she begins to understand these actions are harming her emotionally and prohibit her from having a healthy relationship. This is definitely the best romantic comedy on Netflix!
This movie is also featured on our lists of the best French movies on Netflix you definitely must watch – check them out!
You can make an entire evening of the films described above. These best romantic comedies on Netflix can be streamed right into your home. Curl up, grab refreshments, and indulge yourself in the best that romantic comedy has to offer!
Our personal favorite is Amélie, but Silver Linings Playbook and Grease are very close behind. What are yours?
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