Rom com

The 17 best romantic comedy movies on Netflix

EW grade: C+ (read the review)

The 25 Best Romantic Comedies On Netflix

These movies simultaneously pull at your heartstrings and poke at your funny bone.

best rom coms netflix

Love is in the air, folks. If you want to suddenly get hearts in your eyes, whether you’re coupled up or looking for love, don’t sweat it—romantic comedies have got your back. This tried and true movie genre will put lightness and romance back in your heart at the push of a button. (The “play” button, that is.)

Whether you love to be swept away in a dazzling romance or you like to chuckle at embarrassing pratfalls, romantic comedies are the perfect cross-section of movie genres. These movies simultaneously pull at your heartstrings and poke at your funny bone, and the best part is, you can always expect a happy ending—perfect when you want to zone out from your own dating disasters.

If you’ve got an account, then you’ve got access to our favorite romantic comedies currently streaming on Netflix. Queue them up for a night in, whether you’re flying solo or bringing home that hottie you met in the park.

Jerry Maguire

Tom Cruise cemented his status as a heartthrob in Cameron Crowe’s charming romantic comedy. Cruise plays a smooth-talking sports agent who starts his own agency. But with only one fickle client, he struggles to keep himself and Dorothy, the single mother who decided to work for him, afloat. Maguire falls in love with Dorothy, played by Renee Zellweger, and tries to figure out what’s most important in life. You can thank Jerry Maguire for these lines: “You complete me,” “show me the money,” and “you had me at ‘hello.'”

You People

You People is a brand-new comedy that explores some familiar, yet incredible awkward situations, like meeting your partner’s parents for the first time and cultural clashes. Eddie Murphy goes head to head with Jonah Hill, who plays the unexpected new boyfriend to his daughter, Lauren London.

The 17 best romantic comedy movies on Netflix

Whether they concern enemies becoming lovers or complicated love triangles, you’ll fall head over heels for these rom-com films currently streaming.

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in 'La La Land'; GROUNDHOG DAY, Andie MacDowell, Bill Murray '; Noah Centineo and Lana Condor in 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before'

There are so many different ways you can fall in love, and romantic comedies serve to remind us of that. Maybe you’re dreaming of an unexpected romance, like in La La Land or Runaway Bride. You could also be looking for love stories with strong female leads, such as The Incredible Jessica James or Someone Great. Whatever kind of love story you’re in the mood for, you’ll find your perfect match on our list of the best romantic comedies currently streaming on Netflix, as of October 2023.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

Mila Kunis and Jason Segel in 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall'

Few have forgotten the opening scene of this Judd Apatow-produced rom-com, in which the titular Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) breaks up with a fully nude Jason Segel as the hapless Peter. Looking to make peace after the end of the five-year relationship, Peter escapes to a Hawaiian resort, where, as luck would have it, Sarah and her obnoxious rock star boyfriend Aldous (Russell Brand) are also staying. Peter soon develops a relationship with resort concierge Rachel (Mila Kunis), and the ensuing love quadrangle complicates everyone’s lives. It’s a classic screwball comedy through the lens of Apatow’s school of raunchy improvisation in which, as EW’s critic observed, “Segel and his co-conspirators riff on varieties of male bewilderment.” —Kevin Jacobsen

EW grade: B+ (read the review)

Cast: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand

Love Actually (2003)

Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon in 'Love Actually'

Love is all around us, especially, as this film posits, at Christmastime. Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, and Keira Knightley are among the many members of this rom-com’s sprawling ensemble, in which the love lives of various Londoners are explored, from unrequited romance to revelations of infidelity to unexpected flings. The film gradually reveals how each of their seemingly separate lives are actually interconnected, as the holiday heightens emotions for all involved. The syrupy sweet script by writer-director Richard Curtis won’t be for everyone, but those who give themselves over to the romance and the fantasy of it all — plus those who enjoy some classic British wit — won’t be able to resist its charms. —K.J.

Director: Richard Curtis

Cast: Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, Martine McCutcheon, Bill Nighy, Rowan Atkinson

Friends With Benefits (2011)

Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in 'Friends With Benefits'

With a similar plot to No Strings Attached — and coming out the same year — Friends With Benefits tells the story of friends who decide to add sex into the equation (though Benefits received notably better notices than Strings). The rom-com stars Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis as a pair of hot singles who become close friends and enjoy some of the titular benefits, only to find themselves developing feelings for each other. Naturally, both parties deny such feelings out loud, but it’s impossible to deny the chemistry between them. Called by EW’s critic “an outrageously synthetic confection that pleases and entertains in its very froth,” Friends With Benefits may unfold in relatively predictable fashion, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need from a diverting rom-com at the end of a long day. —K.J.

EW grade: B– (read the review)

Director: Will Gluck

Cast: Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, Bryan Greenberg, Richard Jenkins, Woody Harrelson

My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

Rupert Everett and Julia Roberts in 'My Best Friend's Wedding'

This iconically ’90s romantic comedy allows Julia Roberts, then America’s sweetheart, to go a little sour. The A-lister stars as Jules, a food critic who is horrified to learn that her longtime best friend Michael (Dermot Mulroney) is marrying someone else, having secretly harbored feelings for him. She resolves to sabotage his wedding, but after attempting to enact her plan, she finds that it will be much more difficult than she anticipated. Such behavior from the film’s protagonist might be unpleasant in different hands, but this is Roberts in peak movie star mode, reveling in her character’s meddling behavior with that million-dollar smile. As director P.J. Hogan told EW years later, “When I see the film, it’s still got a snap to it. When it’s funny, it’s really funny, and the actors all glow.” —K.J.

EW grade: C+ (read the review)

Director: P.J. Hogan

Cast: Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz, Rupert Everett, Philip Bosco

Runaway Bride (1999)

Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in 'Runaway Bride'

Two years after disrupting her best friend’s wedding, Julia Roberts was the disruptor of her own wedding(s) in this screwball hit, which reunited her with Pretty Woman costar Richard Gere. Roberts plays Maggie, a frequent bride-to-be who has left multiple fiancés at the altar. Gere is Ike, a cynical columnist who assumes the worst about Maggie but is assigned to write about her. After meeting, the two squabble but gradually come to enjoy each other’s company, in the grand tradition of enemies-to-lovers storytelling. Critics were mixed on Runaway Bride at the time of its release, but the chemistry between Roberts and Gere is sorely missing in today’s movie landscape, and the wackiness of the plot can be enjoyed for its distinctly turn-of-the-century qualities, for better and for worse. —K.J.

EW grade: C+ (read the review)

Cast: Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Joan Cusack, Héctor Elizondo, Rita Wilson, Paul Dooley

Coming to America (1988)

Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall in 'Coming to America'

One of the most beloved Eddie Murphy vehicles of the ’80s, Coming to America has a little something for everyone. The comedic superstar plays Prince Akeem Joffer, the crown prince of a wealthy African nation who rejects an arranged marriage in favor of finding an independent woman who loves him for him, not his title. So, he and his best friend Sammi (Arsenio Hall) voyage to America where Akeem meets the woman of his dreams, Lisa (Shari Headley) — though he does not tell her of his royal lineage. Serving as both a traditional romantic comedy and a laugh-out-loud commentary on ’80s consumerism, the film is highly rewatchable, even if (like the ’80s) not everything has aged perfectly. —K.J.

Director: John Landis

Cast: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, John Amos, Madge Sinclair, Shari Headley

Groundhog Day (1993)

Bill Murray In 'Groundhog Day'

Groundhog Day may not be the most traditional rom-com on this list, but the dynamic between cynical reporter Phil (Bill Murray) and his producer Rita (Andie MacDowell) is certainly familiar to fans of the genre. After Phil gets stuck in a time loop, constantly waking up on Feb. 2, he decides to exploit his powers and tries to seduce Rita. While she rejects him time and time again, Phil comes to find he has genuine feelings for her and his cold, bitter heart gradually warms. “Groundhog Day — with its really high concept — unfolds with a goofy elegance that feels like a tonic,” wrote EW’s critic in 1993. Decades later, the fantasy comedy remains a favorite, one worth revisiting again and again. —K.J.

EW grade: A (read the review)

Director: Harold Ramis

Cast: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky, Brian Doyle-Murray

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

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor in 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before'

One of the better teen rom-coms for the modern age, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was a smashing success for Netflix upon its 2018 release. Lana Condor plays Lara Jean Covey, a high schooler who secretly pens love letters to crushes but never sends them. Her younger sister finds them stashed away and decides to mail them herself, leading to a fair share of awkward situations. To prevent her current crush from initiating yet another cringey confrontation, she impulsively kisses one of her former crushes (Noah Centineo), which proves to be the catalyst for an ever-evolving relationship. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was very well-received, with EW’s critic calling it “breezy and charming.” Netflix released two sequels to the film: To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You in 2020 and To All the Boys: Always and Forever in 2021, though the original remains the series’ best entry. —K.J.

EW grade: B (read the review)

Director: Susan Johnson

Cast: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, Andrew Bachelor, Trezzo Mahoro, Madeleine Arthur, Emilija Baranac, Israel Broussard, John Corbett

La La Land (2016)

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in 'La La Land'

Few modern musicals have shined so brightly as Damien Chazelle’s vibrant comedy-drama about an actress and a jazz musician who fall in love against the backdrop of Los Angeles. Played with exuberance by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, the pair attempt to achieve their dreams while maintaining their relationship, even if this balancing act proves difficult. Packed with musical sequences both dazzling and wistful, La La Land‘s strength lies in its embracing of old-school entertainment without being necessarily old-fashioned. Stone won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance, while the film famously almost won Best Picture. —K.J.

EW grade: A (read the review)

Director: Damien Chazelle

The Incredible Jessica James (2017)

Chris O'Dowd and Jessica Williams in 'The Incredible Jessica James'

Jessica Williams (2 Dope Queens, Shrinking) is a relatable force to be reckoned with in her debut lead role. As the uber-confident Jessica James, she’s trying to find out what’s next in both her work life and her love life, with New York City as the backdrop. However, a blind date throws a wrench in all her plans as she finds herself unexpectedly falling for Boone (Chris O’Dowd) though she’s still not quite over her ex, Damon (LaKeith Stanfield). While the love story at the center of The Incredible Jessica James may seem a little trope-y and basic at times, the protagonist is anything but that. Jessica is a joyful, empowered character who faces her mistakes head-on without beating herself up about them. EW’s critic celebrated the rom-com for its not-so-delicate balance, writing, “Even when the film falls into indie clichés, Williams keeps things moving with her cleverness and charisma, whether she’s chastising man-spreaders on the subway or introducing an as-yet-unborn baby to the fight to dismantle the patriarchy.” —Angela Andaloro

EW grade: B+ (read the review)

Director: James C. Strouse

Cast: Jessica Williams, Chris O’Dowd, Noël Wells, LaKeith Stanfield, Megan Ketch, Zabryna Guevara

Alex Strangelove (2018)

Daniel Doheny and Antonio Marziale in 'Alex Strangelove'

A coming-of-age rom-com that sees a popular teen wrestle with his sexuality may sound like a familiar narrative, but Alex Strangelove adds its own spin. Alex Truelove (Daniel Doheny) lives in an especially progressive and supportive environment for a high school tale, nearly void of the common prejudices against queerness. Still, Alex doesn’t know what — or who — he wants, and he has to learn about himself before he can know for sure. Many LGBTQ+ rom-coms tend to focus on protagonists that are working against societal biases, but Alex Strangelove offers a more joyful take on the queer experience. EW’s critic praised the film’s underlying theme beneath its (occasionally cringey) twist and turns, writing, “It’s hard to fault the bigger message here: that we all deserve the right to be true to who we are, even if it takes a few hard turns — and some collateral emotional damage — to get there.” —A.A.

EW grade: B (read the review)

Cast: Daniel Doheny, Antonio Marziale, Madeline Weinstein, Joanna Adler, William Ragsdale, Daniel Zolghadri

Set It Up (2018)

Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell in 'Set It Up'

Overworked assistants Charlie (Glen Powell) and Harper (Zoey Deutch) have a corporate meet-cute in their shared office building when they bond over their demanding, miserable bosses: venture capitalist Rick Otis (Taye Diggs) and sports media maven Kirsten Stevens (Lucy Liu). Desperate to make their jobs (and lives) easier, Charlie and Harper hatch a plan to merge their superiors into a happy power couple. But playing matchmaker might be way above their pay grade. A romantic comedy in the same vein as The Devil Wears Prada (2006), this film has its fair share of gaslighting, but the twist is its good intentions. Charlie and Harper feel genuine admiration for their successful bosses, and though their motives are self-serving, it’s all in the name of love, right? What follows is a satisfying take on the feel-good genre, complete with meditations on work lives, love lives, and everything in between. EW’s critic hailed Set It Up as the “gold standard for the frothy summer rom-com,” and she was right on the money. —A.A.

EW grade: B (read the review)

Director: Claire Scanlon

Cast: Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Taye Diggs, Lucy Liu

Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Ali Wong and Randall Park in 'Always Be My Maybe'

Who says you can’t go home again? Ali Wong shines in this romantic comedy about childhood best friends who cross paths as adults after an awkward teenage romance ended badly. Fast forward 16 years, and life has taken celebrity chef Sasha Tran (Wong) and unsuccessful musician Marcus Kim (Randall Park) to some very different places. Much has changed, but their chemistry sure hasn’t as the two come face-to-face with their many differences on the road to reconciliation. Costars Wong and Park are also co-writers for the film, and, given the hilarity of Wong’s Netflix stand-up specials, it’s no wonder Always Be My Maybe was an instant hit. The central lovebirds have a lot of healing to do from their complicated youths before they can live happily ever after, but the laughter makes it that much sweeter. Throw in a disastrous double date featuring Keanu Reeves playing, well, Keanu Reeves, and you’ve got yourself a chaotic love triangle unlike any you’ve seen before. EW’s critic highlighted the film’s graceful lack of tokenism as well: “Always Be My Maybe … joins a burgeoning if still too-small club of mainstream movies centered without any special pomp or circumstance on Asian American characters.” Seriously, what’s not to love? —A.A.

EW grade: B (read the review)

Director: Nahnatchka Khan

Cast: Ali Wong, Randall Park, James Saito, Michelle Buteau, Vivian Bang, Daniel Dae Kim, Keanu Reeves

Someone Great (2019)

DeWanda Wise, Gina Rodriguez, and Brittany Snow in 'Someone Great'

This charming directorial debut by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson proves that break-up movies can make for great rom-coms. Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) lands her dream job at Rolling Stone, but it costs her her longtime boyfriend (LaKeith Stanfield). Desperate for a last hurrah in New York City before her big move, the new bachelorette rallies friends Blair (Brittany Snow) and Erin (DeWanda Wise) to help send her off, though it proves to be anything but a clean break. The misadventures of their big night out inspire each woman to reflect on whether they’ve been choosing their relationships over themselves. The result is an empowering, modern spin on what’s expected from the genre, placing sisterhood and self-love at the center stage. Ever the rom-com expert, EW’s critic heralded Something Great as “. a newer breed of movie: the scrappy female-POV in which the love story at the center is as much about friendship or the face in the mirror as it is about any one man.” —A.A.

EW grade: B (read the review)

Director: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson

Cast: Gina Rodriguez, Brittany Snow, DeWanda Wise, LaKeith Stanfield, Peter Vack

The Lovebirds (2020)

Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani in 'The Lovebirds'

The relationship between Leilani (Issa Rae) and Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani) is on its last legs and fading fast when the struggling couple is invited to a dinner party. On their way there, a chance encounter with a criminal changes the course of their night — and their separation. If they want to make it out alive and clear their names, the two will have to work together, but not without throwing a few passive-aggressive jabs at each other in the process. The Lovebirds gives viewers a different kind of second-chance romance. It’s light on the romance and heavy on the antics, making it an honest portrayal of all that can make or break a relationship — romantic or not. Still, the chemistry between Rae and Nanjiani eliminates any question of their potential as a couple. They bicker in that comfortable, weathered way that shows strain, but that edge may be just what they need to see their situation to the other side. And confronting it all is just as challenging as solving the murder they witnessed. EW’s critic noted, “What feels freshest, maybe, is the mere fact of two leads of color taking on all the tropes of the genre and making it feel as modern as they do.” —A.A.

EW grade: B (read the review)

Director: Michael Showalter

Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae, Paul Sparks, Anna Camp, Kyle Bornheimer

The Half of It (2020)

Leah Lewis and Alexxis Lemire in 'The Half of It'

In a modern retelling of the classic French play Cyrano de Bergerac, Ellie (Leah Lewis) starts ghostwriting love letters for a jock, Paul (Daniel Diemer), in exchange for some much-needed cash. But as she continues to correspond with Paul’s dream girl, Aster (Alexxis Lemire), Ellie finds they have a lot in common and wonders if she’s actually her better half. Though the romantic tension between the unknowing Aster and the unfortunate Ellie pushes the film forward, the true heart of this story is the blossoming friendship between Ellie and Paul. He may not be able to write to save his life, but Paul speaks up where it counts, causing an intimate and (somewhat) overlapping love triangle between teens who are just trying to learn what life is all about. The characters’ bond is rooted in Lewis and Diemer’s genuine affection, too. “Daniel is like my brother now,” Lewis told EW. “His belief in me as Daniel definitely translated onscreen where Ellie finds the courage to perform because of Paul’s belief in [her].” —A.A.

EW grade: B (read the review)

Director: Alice Wu

Cast: Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Alexxis Lemire, Enrique Murciano, Wolfgang Novogratz, Catherine Curtin, Becky Ann Baker, Collin Chou

Along for the Ride (2022)

Belmont Cameli and Emma Pasarow in 'Along for the Ride'

Based on the novel by Sarah Dessen, night owl Auden (Emma Pasarow) displeases her type-A mom (Andie MacDowell) by going to stay with her absentee dad (Dermot Mulroney), his wife (Kate Bosworth), and their newborn over the summer before college. Now on a mission to taste all the teenage experiences she’s missed out on, Auden soon makes her first real group of girlfriends and roams the beach town in the wee hours of the morning. Doing so brings her to meet another night-type, Eli (Belmont Cameli), who has a repressed past of his own. Sofia Alvarez is no stranger to teen rom-coms, given that she adapted To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before into the hit Netflix film franchise. Now, she’s made her feature-length directorial debut with Along for the Ride, having collaborated with Dessen, queen of the beach read, on this quintessential summer romance film. “I have always really loved those nostalgic summertime movies that I grew up watching, and I think I immediately saw the potential for this movie to be one of those,” Alvarez told EW. “I really wanted it to be the kind of summer movie where you smell the sunscreen through the screen. or it has a soundtrack that everyone is singing in their cars this summer when they’re driving to the beach.” Spoiler alert: This movie (and its soundtrack by Beach House) achieves all of that and more. —A.A.

Director: Sofia Alvarez

Cast: Emma Pasarow, Belmont Cameli, Kate Bosworth, Dermot Mulroney, Andie MacDowell