To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Instead of acting upon her various crushes, high schooler Lara Jean writes love letters that she keeps hidden in her closet. A never-ending period of embarrassment begins after those letters get sent—you saw that coming, right?—and Lara Jean must finally chase real-life romance from her cadre of potential suitors.
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
Harold & Kumar, a watershed moment for Asian representation in Hollywood, is a traditional stoner comedy about two friends who have a crazy adventure on their way to satisfy their late-night munchies.
Someone Great is a fun girls’ night out comedy with fantastic cameos throughout from RuPaul Charles, Rosario Dawson, Jaboukie Young-White, Jessie Reyez, and Questlove.
Dumb and Dumber
One of the most low-brow comedies ever made—we mean that as a compliment—friends Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels), set out on a cross-country road trip to return a “lost” briefcase to a woman who left it for a ransom payment.
You’ve Got Mail
After the success of Sleepless in Seattle, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were paired again in You’ve Got Mail—a romantic comedy about two email pen pals. For anyone nostalgic for the days of a simpler Internet (such as when Carrie Bradshaw’s Sex and the City blog had the smartest takes on dating in Manhattan), this is the film for you.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Anchorman was a major turning point for both director Adam McKay and SNL comedian Will Ferrell. The successful, ensemble comedy about a bumbling news anchor is not only one of the funniest films of their careers but it led to equally humorous collaborations like Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, and The Other Guys.
Single All the Way
In the holiday comedy Single All the Way, Peter asks his roommate Nick to pretend to be his boyfriend when he goes home for Christmas vacation. Told with a classic plot, the film focuses on the relationship between its two male leads and focuses on depicting gay characters in everyday settings.
You may not be cool enough to sit with us, but you are cool enough to stream Mean Girls on Netflix. Written by Tina Fey and starring Lindsay Lohan, this teen comedy about high school gossip and popular girl hierarchy has remained prevalent thanks to Internet memes and its 2000s-era fashion.
Peewee’s Big Holiday
Pee-wee Herman, a quirky and eccentric vaudeville-type character created by the comedian Paul Reubens, goes on a big vacation in Peewee’s Big Holiday. Released on Netflix in 2016, it was the zany character’s first return to film since Tim Burton’s excellent Peewee’s Big Adventure in 1985.
The Kissing Booth
Elle (Joey King) falls for her friend’s older brother (Jacob Elordi), in the first installment of The Kissing Booth trilogy. A teen romantic comedy, which of course involves easy-to-spot-but-still-fun hijinks.
Bo Burnham: Inside
Technically, Bo Burnham’s personal King Lear pandemic creation is a stand-up special. But, as any Bo Burnham fan will tell you (and probably already have told you many times), there’s a lot more to it than that. In many ways, Burnham’s musical comedy special feels like a feature film as he muses about our world from the inside out.
If you’re a Coen brothers fan, this epic comedy is a can’t miss. George Clooney stars as a 1950s movie star who is abducted and taken for ransom while shooting a major studio biblical epic. With a star-stacked cast including Josh Brolin, Frances McDormand, Jonah Hill, Tilda Swinton, and more, the blockbuster is a hilariously meta satire of Old Hollywood.
I Care a Lot
Rosamund Pike stars in this dark comedy as a professional legal guardian who, unbeknownst to her clients, is legally siphoning off her clients’ money to herself. Her master scheme seems to be going without a hitch; that is, until she learns that her newest client is associated with a gangster, played by Peter Dinklage.
It’s Eric Andre doing what Eric Andre does best: making unassuming onlookers the audience for his over the top antics. Except, this time around, Andre is trading in his signature public access television studio for the real world. This hidden camera comedy follows Andre and actor Lil Rel Howery as best friends Chris and Bud on a cross country trip to help Chris confess his feelings for his high school crush. However, hot on their trail is Chris’s sister, played by Tiffany Haddish, from whom Chris has “borrowed” the car for their trip.
Always Be My Maybe
Ali Wong and Randall Park are a perfect duo in this heartwarming and gut-busting rom-com about two childhood friends whose awkward fling is reignited by a later-in-life reunion. Back in their childhood digs of San Francisco, the two must face whether their separate worlds can find a way to intersect in the way they used to.
Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King
Before the world knew him from the Patriot Act, many knew Hasan Minhaj from his work on The Daily Show, and, of course, his debut standup special Homecoming King. The special is a perfect preview into Minhaj’s tactful skills as a comedian, as he navigates speaking on his experience as an Indian American, racism, and immigration in a way that is personal, impactful, and entertaining all at once.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Taika Waititi is undoubtedly an “It” director right now, with films like the Oscar-winning Jojo Rabbit and What We Do in the Shadows under his belt (and Thor: Love and Thunder on the way). If you’re a fan of the Kiwi auteur’s work, you should definitely check out 2016’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople. The adventure comedy follows 13-year-old Ricky Baker as he flees from the law with his foster father in a charming and eccentric story set in the New Zealand wilderness.
The Half of It
Ellie Chu is a lonely teenage girl who lives with her father in small town Suquamish, where she makes a nice profit writing papers for her classmates. Her business takes a turn when Paul—a goofy but well-meaning jock—hires her to write love letters to his crush Aster, the pastor’s daughter and prettiest girl in school. Along the way, Ellie realizes that she’s fallen in love with Aster. Equal parts cheesy, tender, and refreshing, Netflix’s original The Half of It is a queer teen rom-com that will draw you in with its charm.
EuroVision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams star in this daffy musical comedy about two small-town Icelandic musicians, who travel across the world to chase their dreams of pop stardom at the global music phenomenon known as EuroVision. If you’re a EuroVision newbie, the toe-tapping soundtrack and on-stage mishaps will enthrall you, while EuroVision fans will be delighted by Easter Eggs like cameos from fan-favorite contestants.
Between Two Ferns: The Movie
Zach Galifianakis’ offbeat comedy series gets the feature length treatment in this hilarious film, wherein Between Two Ferns goes on a nationwide redemption tour following a disastrous near-death incident with interviewee Matthew McConaughey. Galifianakis’ deadpan, painfully awkward shtick is as appealing as ever in this gut-busting road trip comedy.
Fresh off a breakup in the midst of the worst year of his life, a struggling New York comedy writer heads back home to Sacramento to care for his dying mother. Though the film definitely falls under the comedy umbrella, make sure to keep the tissues around. Molly Shannon turns out a performance like you’ve never seen.
Yes God Yes
This coming of age film follows a devout Catholic school girl as she explores her sexual awakening after an innocent AOL chat turns racy. She turns to a school retreat hoping to suppress her newfound urges.
The Wrong Missy
Tim thinks he met the girl of his dreams, Missy, so he decides to invite her on his company retreat to Hawaii. However, when a girl from a previous nightmarish blind date shows up instead, also named Missy, Tim realizes he texted the wrong woman and now will have to endure the trip with all of her crazy antics.
In Amy Poehler’s coming-of-age comedy, a 16-year-old girl finds inspiration in her mother’s riot grrrl past, anonymously publishing a zine that challenges the sexist status quo at her Texas high school.
Set It Up
A twist on the whole set up narrative, two overworked NYC assistants try to set up their overbearing, successful bosses played by Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs.
Dolemite Is My Name
This biographical film follows struggling comedian Rudy Ray Moore in the 1970s as he creates his raunchy alter ego, Dolemite, and risks it all to take his act to the big screen with a kung-fu, anti-establishment film.
On the verge of a breakup, Jibran and Leilani accidentally get mixed up in a murder case. The two have one wild night to clear their names, and potentially salvage their relationship.
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
From Oscar-winning filmmaker Noah Baumbach, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is a dark and dry dramedy with an all star cast that includes Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Marvel and Emma Thompson.
The Breaker Uppers
Two women start an agency to break up couples—clearly in an enterprising effort to upend the matchmaking industry.
A bit more on the serious side, Okja is more of a satire than it is a full-fledged comedy. When the Mirando Corporation takes Okja, a giant unnamed animal, for their own use the animal’s 10-year-old friend Mija hops into action to save him.
John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch
Just to be clear, John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch is extremely weird and niche, but its surrealism is a delight to watch. Filmed like an after-school activity, it quickly veers into weird territory and never looks back.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
The Coen Brothers teamed up with the streaming service for this Netflix original, an anthology film featuring six stories set in the American west that’s full of outlaws, pioneer women, double-crossing, and one singing cowboy.
Sandra Oh and Anne Heche star in this bonkers indie film about two women—and lifelong enemies—whose lives, careers, and levels of success are violently linked to each other.
Life of Brian
Monty Python take on Christ with this story of Brian of Nazareth, a man who was born on the same night as Jesus—just in the stable next door—and spends his entire life being mistaken for the messiah.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Authurian legend get the parody treatment in this absurd—and endlessly quotable—cult classic in which the Monty Python players star as the Knights of the Roundtable on the search for the legendary treasure.
Sorry to Bother You
In Sorry to Bother You—Lakeith Stanfield’s breakout role and Boots Riley’s directorial debut–we’re introduced to a satire on corporate sales told from the perspective of a man who discovers the magical key to success. The wacky tale sees Stanfield inexplicably climbing the corporate ladder to outrageous results.
Love and Leashes
This South Korean romantic comedy about a couple that forms a contractual relationship to participate in SM play is one of Netflix’s more adventurous offerings, but it still provides many laughs along with its sexy premise. What happens when the relationship is already more than friends?
A coming-of-age indie comedy about a young boy who must spend time with his new neighbor (Bill Murray), because his mother (Melissa McCarthy) must work long hours at her new job. Despite his age, Murray plays a racetrack-obsessed alcoholic who also learns to spend a little time at the strip club and a little more time with those who care about him.
Paddington is the story of a cute little bear who’s lost his way and needs help finding a new home. Fun for the whole family, this charming story of talking animals and comical antics will surely have you tearing up one way or another.
Keanu Reeves stars in this wacky football comedy about the 1987 NFL players’ strike and the replacement players that came in to take their spots. It’s based on a true story, but we want to give credit to the writers: It can’t be possible that many of the film’s jabs and jokes were part of real sports history.
This quirky comedy by the director of Once pairs Keira Knightley and Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine as a couple torn apart by new-found industry success. That’s when a down-on-his-luck record label executive, played by Mark Ruffalo, steps in at just the right time.
The Edge of Seventeen
“You should date my mother” is a good idea in the head of teenager Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), when she visits her wacky teacher (Woody Harrelson) for advice about how to survive growing up. This coming-of-age film flew under the radar, despite launching Steinfeld’s career past Pitch Perfect.
The Incredible Jessica James
Not to be confused with Netflix’s Jessica Jones, SNL’s Jessica Williams stars in The Incredible Jessica James, a romantic comedy about being unapologetic and getting what you deserve. She finds in an unlikely source: Chris O’Dowd from The IT Crowd.
The Land of Steady Habits
When Anders (Ben Mendelsohn) suffers from a mid-life crisis, quitting his cushiony job and leaving his wife (Edie Falco), he’s only faced with more questions and choices. His son (Thomas Mann) is equally lost, and they both try to find themselves in lonely Westport, Connecticut.
Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders star in the quirky romantic comedy about personal trainers and fitness gurus who know how to keep their bodies healthy but not their love lives.
The Mitchells vs The Machines
Produced by The Lego Movie‘s Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, The Mitchells vs the Machines follows an all-American family that mixes a road trip with the robot apocalypse. Abbi Jacobson plays Katie Mitchell, a teenage girl who is ready to find her place at film school, and Danny McBride plays her father Rick, who doesn’t understand his daughter’s fascination with the new age of technology.
Just Like Heaven
Just Like Heaven stars Mark Ruffalo in an otherworldly comedy about a lonely architect and his connection to a ghost (Reese Witherspoon), who helps him sort out his life. They later find out that she is in a coma and work together to help make their romance real.
Anna Grace Lee
Anna Grace Lee is an editorial fellow at Esquire, where she covers pop culture, music, and entertainment.
Josh Rosenberg is an entertainment writer living in Brooklyn, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day; his work can be found at Spin, Insider, Vibe, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.
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