20 of the best romantic comedies now streaming on Netflix
Roses are red. Violets are blue. Here are some rom-coms, picked just for you.
Are you in the mood for a one-night stand? A workplace fling? A full-blown commitment stretched over 30 episodes? More importantly, are you looking to laugh the whole time you’re watching whichever sort of relationship you choose? We’ve got you covered with a selection of 20 of the best romantic comedies now streaming on Netflix. (If you’re just looking for romance and not so much comedy, we’ve got you there too with a guide to the 10 best romances on the streaming service.)
We combed through Netflix’s extensive catalog of will-they-won’t-theys and could-they-should-theys, both movies and TV shows, to find the titles sure to give you that perfect balance of giggles and butterflies. There are tried-and-true rom-com staples like Emily in Paris and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. But we’ve got plenty of offbeat choices too, like Easy, The Incredible Jessica James, and The Duff.
Settle in with your chocolates, wine, and a cuddly blanket. Here are the 20 best romantic comedies now streaming on Netflix.
20. Falling Inn Love (2019)
Credit: Nicola Dove
Imagine a home improvement show. Take that home improvement show and make it a scripted Bachelor spin-off. Now, take that home improvement show-turned-scripted Bachelor spin-off and set it in New Zealand. Finally, sprinkle in some puns and you’ve got Falling Inn Love.
Starring Christina Milian and Adam Demos, this delightfully delirious romp into renovation romance is the perfect comfort movie for a cozy afternoon on the couch. Marvel at the pretty settings, lust after the linen shirts, stare at the goat named Gilbert.
19. Holidate (2020)
Directed by John Whitesell (Deck the Halls), Netflix’s Holidate takes the “fake relationship” trope to new, seasonally decorated heights. Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey star in this will-they-won’t-they about two friends who agree to be each other’s “holidates” — specially dedicated plus ones for occasions where the pressure of an actual romantic partner is the last thing anyone needs. Of course, with all the flirty fun of events like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and [checks notes] St. Patrick’s Day, it’s not long before these not-lovers start making eyes over the dinner table.
18. When We First Met (2018)
Credit: Jami Saunders
Somewhere between Hot Tub Time Machine and Some Kind of Wonderful, When We First Met imagines the perfect first date over and over and over again.
Adam DeVine and Alexandra Daddario star as one couple that just couldn’t get the timing right, with supporting performances from Robbie Amell and Shelley Hennig. This movie’s saccharine tone and overdone premise shouldn’t work, and yet they do. It’s…fate?
17. Love Seasons 1-3
Credit: Suzanne Hanover / Netflix
As series go, Love is a bit all over the place — but, so is its namesake.
Gillian Jacobs and Paul Rust star as Mickey Dobbs and Gus Cruikshank, two Angelenos who serendipitously meet at a gas station and fall hopelessly, madly in…something. Over the show’s all-too-brief three seasons, viewers are treated to the ups, downs, and sideways of finding the one. Come for the promise of happily ever after, stay for everything that really isn’t that.
16. Been So Long (2018)
Adapted from the musical of the same name, Been So Long offers a dreamy look at a chance encounter between two people in desperate need of a break from reality. With electric interactions between stars Michaela Coel and Arinzé Kene, this poppy romance will have you from the moment the first words are sung — and won’t let go until the very last verse.
15. The Lovebirds (2020)
Credit: Skip Bolen/NETFLIX
Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani play a charming couple stuck in a seriously screwed-up situation in the spectacularly funny The Lovebirds. When our titular lovebirds are blamed for a vehicular homicide, date night becomes a race against the clock to solve the crime they didn’t commit. It’s the perfect popcorn flick with enough heart to get you invested in its leads.
14. The Half of It (2020)
Director Alice Wu’s The Half of It hinges on straight-A student Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis) and her journey towards self-acceptance. It does wonders for the streaming service’s rom-com catalog, not because it’s especially new in its ideas but because Wu executes them with a flair all her own.
A charming combination of unique subject matter and clichéd storytelling, The Half of It explores the perspectives of characters rare to the genre — namely, Ellie who is a queer, Chinese-American teenager — with some pretty predictable narrative turns. You haven’t seen this story done with these characters anywhere else before, but you’ll feel like you have. That’s a victory for the genre in its own right. *
13. Easy Seasons 1-3
Joe Swanberg’s Easy covers a lot of emotional ground, but the more romantic episodes definitely stand out.
An intimate anthology examining relationships in Chicago, this series weaves together so many genuine displays of feeling that it can be hard to keep your heart in check. Not all the characters fall in love, but you’ll absolutely fall in love with all the characters. Start anywhere during any of the three seasons, and see where it gets you. (Tears. Tears is where it gets you.)
12. The Incredible Jessica James (2017)
Get a masterclass in self-confidence and healthy communication from The Incredible Jessica James. Jessica Williams stars opposite Chris O’Dowd, with a supporting performance from LaKeith Stanfield. This charming tale of a woman, who will stop at nothing to be loved the way she deserves, explores so much of what makes romance the sticky business that it is. But this rom-com boasts just the right amount of optimism to keep you invested until its stunningly grounded happily ever after.
11. About Time (2013)
Credit: Universal Pictures
Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson star in this romantic dramedy about a woman falling head-over-heels for a time traveler. We know, we know: It sounds super silly and possibly not very good. But writer-director Richard Curtis pulls off this bonkers premise with such elegance and grace, you’ll be lulled into accepting its dreamy reality in no time. That said, you’re being warned: Bring tissues. This one is rough on the ol’ tear ducts.
10. Alex Strangelove (2018)
Credit: Walter Thomson/Netflix
To find true love, you’ve first got to find yourself.
Featuring heartbreaking performances from Daniel Doheny, Antonio Marziale, and Madeline Weinstein, Alex Strangelove is a coming-of-age story designed to make your palms sweat. A poignant and touching look at coming out, this world is filled with good people doing good things that will make any viewer need a handhold.
9. Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Fans of Netflix comedy special Baby Cobra were long overdue for a fictional Ali Wong fantasy, and Always Be My Maybe really, really delivers. Wong and Randall Park make for a delightful will-they-won’t-they, complete with love triangles, awkward childhood flashbacks, Keanu Reeves in the role he was born to play, and authentic representations of the Asian-American experience.
8. Emily in Paris Seasons 1-2
Created by Darren Starr (Sex and the City, Younger), Emily in Paris is the poppy Parisian fantasy you’ll lap up like a “chatte” drinking “lait.” Lily Collins stars as the titular ex-pat, a young marketing professional from Chicago, who gets an unexpected promotion that takes her to France. There she sells perfume, eats fine cheese, and, of course, falls for a hunky chef, played by Lucas Bravo. This show isn’t 100% rom-com, but it’s at least 75% rom-com.
7. Sex Education Seasons 1-3
Credit: Sam Taylor/Netflix
Sex Education had us from the moment its lead pretended to pretend to masturbate.
There’s plenty to love about this perfectly cast teenage dramedy. But in light of the events of Seasons 2 and 3, nothing feels more pressing than the relationship between Otis (Asa Butterfield) and Maeve (Emma Mackey) — except maybe Eric’s (Ncuti Gatwa) ongoing love antics. At the heart of every great story is a great romance, and Sex Education has more than its fair share.
6. Never Have I Ever Seasons 1-2
Created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, this smart, sweet coming-of-age story was among the most fulfilling new Netflix binges of 2020. Then, it came back in 2021 and wowed us again.
Lead Maitreyi Ramakrishnan will steal your heart as Devi, a high school sophomore reeling from the loss of her father the year before — but with big plans for a future as vibrant and fearless as she. Culturally important as it is authentic, Never Have I Ever serves not only as a critical step for representation but also as a dreamy teen rom-com you’ll adore. *
5. Bridgerton Season 1
Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix
Where to begin with the scandalous, sexy, and silly sensation that is Bridgerton? In this period dramedy, Regency-era Londoners look for love under the critical eye of the Queen and a host of courtiers, while dodging scandal at every turn. It’s Gossip Girl meets Downton Abbey with a How To Get Away with Murder-type twist that’s undeniably Shonda Rhimes. You’re going to love it, so much so that you should plan on bingeing this one straight-through.
4. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Seasons 1-4
Credit: Greg Gayne/The CW
Monuments should be erected in honor of this television masterpiece, but a spot on this list will have to do for now. With four spectacular seasons of musical-infused madness, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is as much a gooey rom-com as it is a fearless portrait of self-love. Whether you’re single, attached, or moving to West Covina for Josh from camp, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) and her gaggle of lovable pals will welcome you with open jazz hands.
3. Set It Up (2018)
An enticing combination of The Devil Wears Prada and Jim and Pam’s The Office romance, Set It Up makes workplace love almost seem like a good idea. Almost.
Starring Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell as two overworked assistants intent on making their bosses fall for one another, this breezy comedy delivers on laughs and butterflies in equal measures. Plus, Taye Diggs and Lucy Liu hook up and it is very, very appealing. You’re welcome.
2. The Duff (2015)
Credit: Lionsgate/CBS Films
Based on the novel by Kody Keplinger, The Duff is one of those movies you think will be totally tone-deaf to the teen troubles it plods through. Instead, director Ari Sandel and screenwriter Josh A. Cagan deliver something so wholly charming that you’ll forget you ever had misgivings.
Bianca (Mae Whitman) is a high school senior struggling with the realization that she may be her friend group’s “Designated Ugly Fat Friend.” Wesley (Robbie Amell) is Bianca’s former childhood pal, current captain of the football team, and boyfriend to mean girl Madison (Bella Thorne). When Bianca enlists Wesley’s help in a glow-up, the pair’s dormant friendship is revived. They learn some important lessons, and…well, you can guess the rest.
1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)
If you’re reading this list, there’s just no way you haven’t seen To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and its two sequels To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You and To All the Boys: Always and Forever. But with XO, Kitty, a spinoff series about the fan-favorite little sister played by Anna Cathcart, on the way, now is the best time for a rewatch. Bask in the chemistry of Lana Condor and Noah Centineo. Delight in the drinkable yogurt representation. Consider why you never dressed this well in school. Then, send out your letters.
Asterisks (*) indicate the entry comes from a previous Mashable list. This story was originally published in February 2020; updated in August 2021 and again in January 2022.