What are the Best Romantic Comedies on Netflix?

Shevany Moharir, Editorial Board

Over the past few years, Netflix has flooded its platform with tons of “romantic comedy” movies, many of which have become some of the site’s most popular programs. The romantic comedy genre is filled with lighthearted story lines, humorous dialogues, and, of course, love. Plots typically have two central characters whose “true love” allows them to overcome several obstacles. Despite the often unapproving response from critics, rom-coms are arguably the most popular movies among teens and young adults. It is no surprise, then, that Netflix has jumped on this bandwagon and produced its own original movies. With the abundance of options available on Netflix, it can be difficult to find one to watch. While there are several great choices, a few movies in particular stand-out as the streaming platform’s top rom-coms.

 

  1. The Perfect Date

High school senior Brooks is struggling to write his college application essay while also facing the harsh reality that is college tuition. After being paid to go to homecoming with his classmate’s cousin, Celia, Brooks realizes that he can make money by having people pay him to go on a date with them, so he enlists the help of his friend to do create an app to do just that. Throughout the next few months, Brooks goes on several dates and gets closer and closer to reaching his tuition goal, while also developing his seemingly platonic relationship with Celia. This film features a good storyline and decent acting, although some of the depictions of high school and high schoolers are not quite accurate. While the plot can be a little predictable, this movie is great for a Friday night with its light humor, likeable characters, and somewhat relatable narrative about the stress and difficulty of the college application process, which may appeal to high school students going through a similar experience.

 

  1. Dumplin’

Dumplin’ tells the story of Willowdean “Will” Dickson, a teenager from a small Texas town. Her mom, Rosie, who nicknames her “Dumplin,” is a well known former beauty queen and much involved in the town’s beauty pageant. Despite this, Will despises the pageants, which comes as a shock to much of the town’s residents. The only other person she knows who doesn’t care for them is her late Aunt Lucy. However, upon discovering Lucy actually tried-out for the pageant when she was Will’s age, Will and her best friend, Ellen, decide to enter in her honor. Throughout the pageant, Will learns a lot about herself through her friendship with Ellen and her first ever relationship with her coworker, Bo. Although this movie’s primary focus is not romance, it still contains a love story as well as other elements which do classify it as a rom-com. In fact, the fact that the movie’s central theme is not romance makes it a refreshing change of pace as compared to the other movies on this list. It also focuses on her other struggles with herself including weight, appearance, and expectations to look like the typical “beauty queen” like her mother, which sends a great message to viewers, especially young teenage girls. With that being said, the movie felt a little bit slow paced at times which is why it is not ranked first on the list.

 

  1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Lara Jean Covey is a shy, intelligent, and introverted 16 year old girl who writes passionate love letters whenever she has strong feelings for someone. Despite this, however, every love letter she writes ends up unmailed and are instead used solely as an outlet for her to vent her emotions without the risk of potential embarrassment or rejection. Her whole life turns upside down when her little sister, Kitty, sends the letters to their respective recipients with the hope of Lara Jean being able to come out of her shell. When one of the recipients, Peter, confronts her about the letter, she explains she wrote it many years ago and no longer has the same feelings. The pair then decide to pretend to date in order to get back at Peter’s ex-girlfriend and convince one of the other letter recipients that she does not have feelings for him. This movie has everything a romantic comedy should have — interesting plot, relatable characters, realistic relationships, and solid character development. The film also does a good job at incorporating Lara Jean’s Korean culture without overdoing it and making her seem very stereotypical. In fact, unlike most rom-coms, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before contains lots of different dynamic characters that don’t fit the typical “mold” that can feel redundant at times. This movie has the perfect balance of romance and comedy which anyone can enjoy. Oakton student Tara Nair (9) says she likes the movie because “it’s relatable. Lara Jean is portrayed very well as an average high school student and it doesn’t seem glamorized like many other rom-coms.” Whether it’s a sick day at home or a movie night, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a great feel-good movie that even nonfans of rom-coms can enjoy.