Romantic comedies are, without fail, one of the greatest genres of movies. For a while there, there was a bit of a shortage. But thanks to Netflix, ‘rom-coms’ are making a comeback. And why shouldn’t they? Rom-coms make us laugh, smile and feel those warm and fuzzies. Whether you’re already married or desperate for love, aged 15 or 50, there’s always a little something for everyone. So, kick up your feet, grab some popcorn and settle in. Canstar Blue runs you through some of the best rom-com movies on Netflix Australia. Get ready, because these will put hearts in your eyes.
Top 15 Rom-Coms on Netflix
Here are, in our opinion, the best rom-coms currently available on Netflix.
- Forgetting Sarah Marshall
- The Big Sick
- Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging
- How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
- The Holidate
- The Half of It
- Always Be My Maybe
- Sing Street
- Notting Hill
- Set It Up
- To All the Boys I’ve Ever Loved Before
- Practical Magic
- The Lobster
- First Daughter
- What if?
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Jason Segal is man of many talents. Although he’s known first and foremost for his role as Marshall on How I Met Your Mother, his role as Peter Bretter in the peak 2000’s rom-com Forgetting Sarah Marshall will always reign supreme. His character (which Segal wrote for himself) is a music composer for his girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kirsten Bell)’s, SVU-esque crime show Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime. That is, until Sarah breaks up with Peter for rock ‘n’ roll star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand in a breakout performance) known for his ridiculous songs about climate change and sex (Aldous performing ‘Inside of You’ to a delighted Jonah Hill will never get old).
Desperate to get away, Peter books a holiday to a tropical resort in Hawaii — but gets a rude shock when he runs into Sarah Marshall herself, who is holidaying with new beau Aldous at the same resort. Throw in a new potential romance with Mila Kunis, a puppet-led Dracula musical, Paul Rudd as Chuck aka Kunu (he doesn’t believe in age or numbers, but is probably 44) and you’ve got a top tier romantic comedy.
The Big Sick
The Big Sick is based off the real-life comedy power couple, comedian Kumail Nanjiani (played by Kumail Nanjiani) and scriptwriter Emily Gordon (played by Zoe Kazan) — so you know this movie is legit romantic comedy stuff (and it was nominated for an Oscar). Kumail is a struggling stand-up comedian who meets American grad student Emily at a gig, and the two hit it off. As their relationship blossoms, Pakistan-born Kumail becomes concerned his traditional Muslim parents won’t approve of Emily and her culture — especially since they’re busy finding him potential Muslim brides. Right as the couple decide they are too different to be together, Emily falls seriously ill and is placed into a medically-induced coma — and Kumail finds himself bonding with her concerned family and forced to confront his own family’s expectations.
Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging
Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging opens the way any good rom-com should: with its leading character Georgia sprinting through the streets of Eastbourne in a stuffed olive costume to ‘She’s So Lovely’ by Scouting For Girls, after the humiliation of being the only one to commit to the hors d’oeuvre theme at a fancy dress party. From there, the film only gets better and better — chronicling the life of 14-year-old Georgia Nicholson (Georgia Groome) in her quest to become popular, attractive, the perfect snogger and get a boyfriend. Hey, we have to give props for her ambition. She becomes more determined when a new boy at her school catches her eye — ‘Stiff Dylans’ lead singer Robbie (Aaron Johnson) aka, ‘Sex-God’. Based on two novels by Louise Rennison, Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging and It’s Okay, I’m Wearing Really Big Knickers, the rom-com is timeless, classic, and unbeatable — just like Georgia’s snogging scale.
How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days
“Oh, no. Our love fern. It’s dead.” “No, it’s just sleeping.” “You let it die. Are you going to let us die?” Pretty much everyone can quote this movie word-for-word and for good reason — it’s one of the greatest rom-coms of all time. The movie stars rom-com royalty Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson as Benjamin Barry the advertising executive and Andie Anderson the How-To girl, who both set out on social experiments in order to impress their bosses. Andie, a columnist for Composure magazine, sets out to write ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’, using common mistakes made by females whilst dating. Simultaneously, to win a huge promotion at work, Benjamin bets that he can make any woman fall in love with him in 10 days. When the two meet, both of them are determined not to be the one that gives in — not matter how crazy they drive each other. Benny Wenny boo boo boo.
If you’re looking for something so-bad-it’s-good, then look no further than The Holidate. Emma Roberts stars as Sloane, a twenty-something who is sick of being nagged by her family to find a boyfriend every time she rocks up to holiday events solo. After meeting a strange but attractive Australian (Luke Bracey) in a shopping centre who feels the exact same way, the two strike up a deal — dating, but strictly for the holidays, aka a “holidate”. The two appear in love but simply act as platonic plus-ones to every Easter, St Patrick’s Day, 4th of July, and Christmas Day. Of course, things are never that simple (especially when the two leads are that beautiful) and things get messy.
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The Half of It
We already know Netflix is the King of rom-coms. And we love a mushy romance (usually with Noah Centino as the lead) as much as the next person, but we’re pretty damn excited about The Half of It — a rom com celebrating diversity and friendship with a twist. Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis) is a shy, lonely, Chinese-American straight-A student living in the small town of Squahamish. Strapped for cash, she agrees to help the school jock Paul (Daniel Diemer) woo over his crush by writing notes for her. The only trouble? Ellie just so happens to a crush on the same girl. The Half of It will pull on your heartstrings, especially after Ellie and Paul strike up an adorable friendship. We are here for it all.
Always Be My Maybe
Comedian Ali Wong had a breakout year in 2016 with the release of her Netflix special Baby Cobra, and she’s been on the up and up ever since. Exhibit C is Always Be My Maybe, the rom com she wrote and starred in that was released in 2019 and was viewed by 32 million households within the first four weeks of released. The movie follows ex-best friends Sasha (Wong) and Marcus (Randell Park) who, after a falling out as teens after a brief fling, haven’t spoken in 15 years. As a grown woman, Sasha’s life is perfect: she is a celebrity chef, engaged to be married to an equally successful and beautiful chef. That is, until her fiancé suggests a ‘6-month break’ and a heartbroken Sasha decides to move back home to San Francisco to open a restaurant. After a chance encounter, she is reunited with Marcus and the two revisit their old spark. Could it still be there?
Set in Dublin during the 1980s recession, Sing Street is a coming-of-age musical romantic comedy. Yes, you heard that right. An Irish musical. Basically, it’s everything you can imagine, plus more. The movie’s main character – 14-year-old Conor – is forced to move from his private school to an alternative tough public all-boys school when his parents face both relationship and money troubles. It’s here that he meets ‘the one’ – the cool and mysterious Raphina who he falls instantly in love with, and tries to impress by asking her to be in his band’s music video. There’s only one problem – there is no band. Conor scrambles to throw one together, and in the process, goes on a journey of discovery, creativity, friendship and love.
“After all, I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”. We’re all familiar with the famous line from Julia Roberts’ Anna Scott as she pleas Hugh Grant’s William Thacker to take her back. This timeless classic has only just hit Netflix Australia, and all we can say is thank goodness. In case you aren’t familiar, William Thacker is a London bookstore owner who can’t believe it when ultra-famous movie actress Anna Scott enters his book shop. She ends up back at his house – only because he spills orange juice on her – and his life turns upside down forever. The movie focuses on the two navigating their relationship and the obstacles they meet along the way in conjunction with Anna’s fame. This quirky, feel good is romantic comedies at its absolute best.
Set It Up
A Netflix Original that was released right when the genre needed it, this rom-com is surprisingly hilarious and heart-warming. Set in modern day New York, assistants Harper and Charlie work for horrible, demanding bosses and they are sick of being overworked and underpaid. They decide to ‘Cyrano’ their bosses to get their freedom back – aka helping them fall in love with each other through carefully planned encounters and telling them what to say and do, completely unknowingly to the bosses. Like any good romantic comedy, the two main characters become close throughout their scheming and realise that they are falling for each other. They pretty much ‘Cyranoed’ themselves. Is that a spoiler? Oh well.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
If 2018 is the year of the rom-com return, then this Netflix Original is the King. Released shortly after a string of successful original rom-coms, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has captured the attention and hearts of… everyone. Based on the hit YA book by Jenny Han, the story focuses around sweet Lara Jean and the private love letters she’s written to her crushes in previous years. But (somewhat predictably) the letters get out, causing the five boys to confront her. Her current crush, and her older sister’s ex-boyfriend, is amongst the boys. Lara Jean does everything she can to avoid him, even if that means fake-dating school jock and all-around heartthrob Peter Kavinsky. Obviously, nothing goes to plan and Lara Jean finds herself having to make some huge decisions. This movie gives off serious John Hughes and Nora Ephron vibes and in 20 years will most likely be a classic. Stay tuned.
A young Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman star together in this magical story of two sisters who grow up with crazy aunties following the death of their parents. They discover they are the latest in a long family line of witches – which is all fun and games, until it’s not. All women in their family are under a curse in which any man that falls in love with them is then doomed to an untimely death. Kidman’s Gillian decides to live her life to the fullest, run away to an island and be with the one she loves. The other, Bullock’s practical Sally, swears off men and magic – but we all know that’s not going to last. Nothing more can be said without ruining the plot, but picture chaos, love and a whole lot of witchcraft.
This ‘rom-com’ is not exactly the same as the others listed – think more along the lines of Black Mirror, but more lovable. Kind of. The Lobster is a dystopian, romantic black comedy that will have you scratching your head, laughing out loud and rooting for the main character. The twisted satire is set in the future, in a society where single people are sent off to a hotel where they have 45 days to find a partner. If anyone is unsuccessful in falling in love in the allocated time period, they are turned into… an animal of their choice and released into the woods – the transformation not mean to be a punishment, but another chance at love as another species. The main character David (Colin Farrel) has just seen his wife of 11 years leave him, and is therefore thrown into the hotel, where he chooses to became a lobster (if he fails!) You’ll have to watch and find out if that happens or not.
Possibly one of the greatest political movies of our generation, First Daughter follows Samantha MacKenzie, the daughter of the president of the United States as she first attends college. She has spent her entire life as the sweet, innocent daughter who lives in the White House by her parents’ side. The poor girl would have zero social life – that is until she decides she wants to attend college and live a normal life. But her time at college is anything but normal, as she is followed by a truckload of secret service agents and is tip-toed around by everyone. That is, until she meets a cute college boy who sees her for whom she really is. They fall for each other and everything is peaches and roses – until Samantha uncovers a huge secret. Cue dramatic music!
Harry Potter is back in a slightly more upbeat movie than the last eight he spent fighting Voldemort. Daniel Radcliffe stars beside Zoe Kazan in this charming rom-com that challenges the age-old question – can a guy and a girl be best friends without anything more? Radcliffe plays Wallace, a med school dropout who’s had a rough trot with women in the past. He spirals into an anti-social slump, until his roommate drags him to a party where he meets Kazan’s cute and bubbly character, Chantry. Wallace quickly learns about Chantry’s boyfriend, and the two decide to be friends. Wallace tries to hide his growing feelings for Chantry, but ends up colliding with her boyfriend (much like he did with Voldemort) and it gets a whole lot messy from there on out.
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