There has literally never been a better time to get lost in a good comedy. We’re tired, the delta variant is hovering worse than a mother-in-law, and politicians are still about as trustworthy as Loki in a room full of Tesseracts.
Thankfully, Netflix has our backs. In addition to its plethora of originals, the streaming service regularly updates its library to include films from every genre, giving us even more rabbit holes to tumble down at the end of a long day.
Here are some of the best comedies you can find on Netflix now if you’re in need of a laugh or a break from your mother-in-law.
All Bartleby Gaines wants in the world is to be accepted — by his parents, the girl of his dreams, and a college. Instead, he’s unanimously rejected, prompting him to create his own school, the South Harmon Institute of Technology. It’s a solid plan, at least until a hoard of other rejected students show up at S.H.I.T. ready to begin their college experiences. The ensemble of Accepted, which includes Justin Long, Jonah Hill, and Lewis Black, is hilarious, and the film teaches important lessons about self-acceptance and carving out your own path in life. Long’s monologue at the end of the film is worth the price of admission alone.
Let’s be real: we still love Legally Blonde as much as we did when it was released twenty years ago (WHAT?!). Even if our favorite pink-wearing, pup-carrying blonde followed Warner Huntington the Third to Harvard Law for all the wrong reasons, Elle Woods ultimately discovered that she was so much more than a head of fabulous hair. In the process, she inspired the rest of us to be unapologetically ourselves. What more could you ask for from a comedy that in lesser hands could have gone totally south?
Reese Witherspoon steals the show in this classic and we are beyond ready to see her do it all over again in Mindy Kaling’s upcoming Legally Blonde 3.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Yep, the most iconic slacker of all time can currently be found kicking back on the ‘flix. It’s never a bad time to watch this John Hughes classic, even if having our own carefree day in Chicago isn’t exactly an option at the moment. For those who don’t know, Ferris Bueller really wants to take a day off from school the same way we’d like to take a day off from Covid.
While the Dean of Students does his best to prove that Bueller is playing hooky, Bueller fills his day with baseball games, parades, and shenanigans galore, breaking the fourth wall along the way to reveal important life lessons like, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a film no one wants to miss.
Always Be My Maybe
The good thing about having an actual comedian write and star in her own comedy is that there’s a good chance it will actually be funny. Always Be My Maybe gives us a double dose of writer-comedian star power in Ali Wong and Randall Park, who co-wrote and star in the film together.
Their characters, Sasha and Marcus, are childhood friends that have fallen out of touch. When they reconnect 15 years later, they unearth old feelings for each other that just might lead to an unexpected romance. Wong and Park have stellar comedic timing and are able to transition from funny to vulnerable at the drop of a hat. The result is a touching film that will leave you wanting more from this talented duo.
Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery
Sometimes you just need to laugh at something so ridiculous that you can hardly believe it actually exists. Enter Austin Powers, a hippie secret agent who’s cryogenically frozen in the 1960s and emerges in the 90s to continue the fight against his foe, Dr. Evil.
Brought to life by the one and only Mike Myers, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is one of the goofiest films to come out of the 90s, which makes complete sense given that Myers wrote it. Try not to laugh as you watch it, then do the same with its sequels, both of which are also currently available to stream on Netflix. There’s an astronomical chance that like Austin’s affinity for innuendos, you won’t be able to help yourself.
What A Girl Wants
If you’re looking for a lighthearted, feel-good movie you can watch on repeat and enjoy every time, look no further than What a Girl Wants. Amanda Bynes stars as Daphne, a teenager living in New York who wants nothing more than to finally meet her father. She travels all the way to London to do so, and upon learning that he’s a prominent political figure, quickly realizes that she might not fit into his uptight lifestyle.
Like her predecessor Elle Woods, Daphne teaches us that there’s little point in trying to fit in when you were born to stand out. Be ready to fall in love with Colin Firth in the role of Daphne’s dad and giggle at Bynes’ status as the fun American in a sea of stuffy Brits.
Don’t let Lady Bird’s dramatic vibe fool you—this movie is funny, and some of Saoirse Ronan’s one-liners and fights with her mother might make you belly laugh. Ronan plays Lady Bird, a teenager who despises her Sacramento existence but tries to make the best of her last year of Catholic school before heading off to college.
This coming-of-age tale follows Lady Bird through musical rehearsals, first loves, college applications, and the possibility of a new life far away from her frustrating mother. Laurie Metcalf, Lucas Hedges, and Timothée Chalamet round out the talented ensemble of this dramedy which all mothers and daughters will strongly relate to.
Unless you’re the calmest person ever, it’s highly unlikely that you’d actually want to be stuck in an airport these days (or ever). Thankfully, there’s a smarter and more enjoyable option: The Terminal starring Tom Hanks. When Victor Navorski becomes stranded in an airport due to a government collapse in his homeland of Krakozhia, he must make a terminal in JFK Airport his new home until it’s safe for him to return.
Hanks is heartbreaking and humorous as Navorski, a role that only he could play, and his character’s resourcefulness in the face of adversity will charm your socks off. The best part is that you’ll be able to enjoy the bright side of airports without having to go through security or even get off your couch.
“There’s nothing in the rules that says big girls need not apply.” Can I get an amen? Based on the bestselling novel of the same name, Dumplin’ is about a plus-size teenager who signs up to participate in her beauty queen mother’s Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant. While this act begins as a protest, it turns into something more when other plus-size girls decide to join the pageant as well.
Featuring all-new songs from Dolly Parton and a timely message about body positivity, Dumplin’ is an uplifting story that’s relatable for anyone who’s ever felt even the slightest bit different. Jennifer Aniston stars as former pageant queen Rosie and Danielle Macdonald plays her fiery daughter, Willowdean.
Fun With Dick And Jane
Meet Dick, a wholesome rule-abiding man who’s just received an amazing promotion. Meet Jane, his hardworking wife who has just quit her job so she can spend more time with their son. Meet the collapse of Dick’s company, taking with it Dick’s job, savings, and pension. Fun with Dick and Jane is the hilarious tale of what happens when the title characters resort to a life of crime after realizing that they’ve gotten nowhere in life playing by the rules.
Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni are brilliant together in this, and while they might inspire you to give that robbery life a try, it’s probably best to leave it to the fictional characters.
Life As We Know It
Holly and Eric do not go well together. Their first date was a disaster and they thought they’d never have to see each other again after that. Everything changes when their married friends die in a tragic car accident, leaving their newborn baby girl to her new guardians: Holly and Eric. Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel have incredible chemistry in this touching romantic comedy about life’s ability to interfere while we’re busy making other plans.
Don’t be surprised when Life As We Know It makes you laugh, tear up, and fall in love with these perfectly imperfect humans all at the same time. Plus gazing at Josh Duhamel for two hours is not the worst way to spend a Friday evening.
The Edge Of Seventeen
Surely we all remember what it was like to be seventeen, but in case you’ve forgotten, Kelly Fremon Craig offers a laugh-filled reminder with her film The Edge of Seventeen. It stars Hailee Steinfeld as Nadine, a teenager whose life is quickly spiraling out of control. She doesn’t know how to share her feelings with the guy she likes, her traitorous best friend is dating her perfect older brother, and one of the few people who will actually listen to her is a dry teacher played by Woody Harrelson.
Growing up is hard, but that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh at it, too. It’s a lesson Steinfeld delivers impressively, which is why she’s a Golden Globe and Oscar-nominated actress and the soon-to-be center of our bingeing world in the upcoming Hawkeye.
Dolemite Is My Name
With characters like Mushu, Donkey, the Nutty Professor, and Dr. Doolittle under his belt, it’s impossible to deny that Eddie Murphy is one of the most talented comedians of our time. He’s also a great dramatic actor, and his portrayal of real-life comedian Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite is My Name is a solid blending of his gifts. In the film, Moore wants to prove his haters wrong by creating the character Dolemite and attempting to star in his own motion picture. The result is a raucous ride through 1970s Los Angeles that earned both the film and its star Golden Globe nominations.
Missing new episodes of Saturday Night Live so much you could cry? Quench that thirst with Wine Country, which stars a whopping seven former SNL cast members: Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph, Paula Pell, Emily Spivey, and Tina Fey. Poehler even directed this comedy about a group of friends reuniting in Napa for a 50th birthday celebration.
Whether you’re having a mid-life crisis like some of the film’s characters or just feel like getting your tipsy on, this one’s a quarantine necessity that you can guzzle in one go without needing to give anyone your keys.
Even though some would say that this movie is super bad, others swear by its hilarity thanks to the comic trio at its center: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Hill and Cera are Seth and Evan, two unpopular best friends who are nervous to be going to different colleges at the end of the summer. When they’re invited to the party of the year and offer to bring alcohol, their lives as outcasts take a turn for the wild, throwing them smack into a night they’ll never forget.
Be warned: Superbad is raunchy and loaded with naughty words, so it’s not something you’ll want to watch with your mother-in-law. It is, however, a humorous documentation of the raucous nights many of us know well and will hopefully be able to safely enjoy when the Covid pandemic is but a distant speck in the rearview mirror.