Top Ten Comedies to Watch on Netflix Right Now

Jenna Haskins ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
Netflix, otherwise known as a college students salvation, offers hundreds of movies in different genres, all available instantly if you have an account. With so many to choose from, it can be difficult to make a decision on what to watch when you finally finish that research paper. Or before you start it. (It happens, no shame.) To help out, Emertainment Monthly has put together a little series just for you, with 10 movies on each list of genres to watch while they’re on Netflix. This article features comedies, so if you love checking out new movies and are in the mood for laughter, read on!

10. Hot Rod (2007)

Still of Isla Fisher and Andy Samberg in Hot Rod.
Still of Isla Fisher and Andy Samberg in Hot Rod.
Run Time: 88 mins
Starring: Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Isla Fisher, Bill Hader, Danny McBride
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 4.9/10
Marketed as a Napoleon Dynamite-esque film, Hot Rod brings the same kind of silly comedy and simple plot line. Rod Kimble (Samberg) has two aspirations in life: to be a stuntman like he believes his dead father was, and to beat up his stepfather to gain his respect. When his stepfather needs an operation, Rod and his slacker friends hatch a plan to set a bus jumping record on his motorbike. The problem is that Rod is less a stuntman and more a man-child. There are many scenes that are offbeat and laugh out loud funny, and Rod’s brother in law Kevin (played by the ever adorable Jorma Taccone) is especially charming, with his roller shoes and naive nature. With a cast you’ll recognize from many SNL skits, this is the perfect film to zone out to and enjoy some mindless humor. Ultimately, fans of Samberg on SNL will enjoy seeing him in a film length role, but if you’re looking for smart comedy you may want to skip this one.

9. Heathers (1988)

Still of Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk and Kim Walker in Heathers. Photo by New World Pictures – © 1988.
Still of Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk and Kim Walker in Heathers. Photo by New World Pictures – © 1988.
Run Time: 103 mins
Starring: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.8/10
An undoubtedly darker look at comedy, Heathers is a satirical take on high school cliques and the idea of conforming to nonconformity. Veronica Sawyer (played by Ryder in a cult classic role that rocketed her star status in the 80s), is the fourth member of the school’s most vicious group of girls who all share the same name, Heather. Veronica is fed up with their cruel jokes and egotistic ways, and when she meets sociopathic loner Jason Dean (Slater), she finds a dangerous way to solve her problems. The humor comes from the caricature-like characters, including Veronica’s blindly oblivious parents, Jason’s creepy father, and the apathetic school board. Not a feel good comedy by any means, but it still brings many laughs and the 80s fashion alone is enough reason to watch it. Lines like “Grow up Heather, bulimia’s so ’87” and the ever catchy “How very” make it worth the shock factor. If you’re looking for a dark, classic comedy that’s a little bit out there, this movie is perfect for you.

8. The Switch (2010)

Still of Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman in The Switch.
Still of Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman in The Switch.
Run Time: 101 mins
Starring: Jason Bateman, Jennifer Anniston, Jeff Goldblum
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 5.4/10
A modern mix up that leads to some hilarious results makes this Hollywood movie entertaining and fun. Kassie (Aniston) has been unlucky in love and turns to artificial insemination in order to have a child. Wally (Bateman), her best friend and secretly in love with her, is less than thrilled with the idea, and at her artificial insemination party he gets drunk and sees the sperm donor’s sample in the bathroom. Seven years later Kassie has moved back to the city with her son in order to get Roland, the sperm donor, more involved in his life. However, Wally begins to notice similarities between himself and the child, and, as he was too drunk to remember if he tampered with the sperm sample, he tries to figure out if Kassie’s son may actually be his child. A light romantic comedy that, while possibly on the predictable side, still provides enough laughs to satisfy.

7. Super (2010)

Still of Rainn Wilson in Super. © 2011 - IFC Films.
Still of Rainn Wilson in Super. © 2011 – IFC Films.
Run Time: 96 mins
Starring: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 5.5/10
Starring Rainn Wilson of The Office, and written almost in the same vein as the more mainstream hit Kick-Ass, this film centers around an underdog turned self-made superhero. After his ex-addict wife (Tyler) is abducted by a drug dealer, Frank (Wilson) decides to fight back as the Crimson Bolt. He dons his hand made suit, and wrench and sets out to clean up the streets with sidekick Boltie (Indie favorite, Page). A mixture of all out violence, absurd humor, and some comic book style scenes can make the movie come across a little choppy. However, the humor and slightly darker tinge to the movie breathes new life into the “less than super superhero” genre.

6. Adventureland (2009)

Still of Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in Adventureland.
Still of Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in Adventureland.
Run Time: 107 mins
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kelsey Ford, Kristen Stewart
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.3/10
James Brennan (Eisenberg) is a college graduate of the class of ’87 who has imagined his summer filled with European museums and cute French girls. However, that dream is crushed when he realizes he doesn’t have the funds and must get a minimum-wage job at a local amusement park for the summer instead. While there he begins a relationship with his co-worker Em (Kristen Stewart, in a role that won her Stonette of the Year in 2009 from High Times magazine) which gives uptight James a chance to relax. This is a character driven movie, with lot’s of subtle humor. While the plot line of geeky underdog and gorgeous, angst ridden girl can be played out, this movie stays fun with looks at the seedy side of amusement parks. With less slapstick, and more heart, this is a movie that gets a lot of laughs through being clever rather than silly. The fact that it is loosely based on director Greg Mottola’s own experiences working at the real Adventureland park also adds a fun twist to the movie. A comedy with a little bit of romance and some quality laughs, it’s worth checking out if you haven’t already.

5. Lars and the Real Girl (2007)

Still of Ryan Gosling in Lars and the Real Girl. © 2007 Twentieth Century Fox.
Still of Ryan Gosling in Lars and the Real Girl. © 2007 Twentieth Century Fox.
Run Time: 106 mins
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Kelli Garner
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.1/10
What at first sounds to be a perverted, exploiting film, uses a talented cast, great writing, and doesn’t stoop too low, coming together as a great comedy piece. Lars (Gosling) lives in a garage and leads an eccentric life due to his painfully shy and hermit-like nature. After overhearing someone at work mention a website where one can order life-sized, anatomically correct sex dolls, Lars see’s in this his chance to have his ideal life partner. Blind to his co-worker Margo’s (Garner) affections, he orders a doll, names her Bianca and starts doting on her as though she were a flesh and blood girlfriend. Written cleverly, and presented almost sweetly, it’s an unconventional comedy film about the sad phenomenon of extremely socially awkward singles.

4. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. © 1986 - Paramount Pictures.
Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. © 1986 – Paramount Pictures.
Run Time: 103 mins
Starring: Matther Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.6/10
Unless you’ve made a point of ignoring all pop culture since the 80s, chances are you’ve heard of this movie. However, just in case you haven’t, I’ll give a short synopsis anyway. (Oh, and welcome back to life on Earth.) Teenager Ferris Bueller (Broderick) is a legend at his high school for getting away with almost anything. As graduation nears, Ferris decides to call in sick one last time and have a “sick day” to beat all sick days as he and his friends skip school, “borrow” a Ferrari and run wild through the streets of Chicago. However, principal Rooney is determined not to miss his final chance to punish Bueller for something and makes it his mission to catch him skipping school. A classic John Hughes movie, you can expect satire, and slapstick, with a little extra quirk thrown in for good measure. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ve got to give it a chance. (And even if you have, it’s always worth a few more views

3. The Truman Show (1998)

Still of Jim Carrey in The Truman Show.  © 1998 Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.
Still of Jim Carrey in The Truman Show. © 1998 Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.
Run Time: 103 mins
Starring: Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 8.3/10
A movie that defies any one genre, The Truman Show is part comedy, part drama, part philosophical comment on reality TV. Truman Burbank (Carrey) believes that he lives a perfectly normal life as an insurance salesman with his wife in a normal American town. However, that picture perfect image comes crashing down when, through a number of blundering mishaps, Truman discovers that his life is the most popular TV-series in the world…and everything around him is fake. His friends and family are all paid actors, and he was raised from infancy in a dome like structure that has a simulated sky, it’s own weather, and even it’s own ocean. Every second has been captured on any number of the 5,000 cameras constantly recording inside the dome. Now that Truman is learning the truth, will he actually leave the safety of all he’s ever known, and if he chooses yes, will he even be able to escape? Carrey is a heartwarming underdog in this turn from his usual slapstick filled humor movies, and you’ll find yourself cheering him on through his struggles. Humorous enough to be considered a comedy, it’s also an amazing movie without a labeled genre and is perfect if you’re looking for a plot line like nothing else you’ve seen.

2. Submarine

Still of Craig Roberts and Yasmin Paige in Submarine.
Still of Craig Roberts and Yasmin Paige in Submarine.
Run Time: 97 mins
Starring: Craig Roberts, Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine, Yasmin Paige
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.3/10
Written and directed by Richard Ayoade, better known as Moss from The IT Crowd, Submarine is a quirky and well made British comedy. 15 year old Oliver Tate has two goals for his immediate future: to save his parents marriage and to lose his virginity by his next birthday. By forging suggestive love notes from his mom and dad and keeping tabs on their sex life via the light dimmer in their room, he attempts to stop his mother from having an affair with the strange New Age man who has just moved in next door. At the same time, he pursues his classmate, popular and mysterious Jordana, who gives him a journal and instructs him to write nice things about her to be distributed “accidentally” through the school. While still a coming of age story, Submarine has a quality of witty humor and deadpan acting that can’t be matched by many other films. Along with gorgeous cinematography and the lovable and offbeat nature of Oliver, this movie is perfect for indie film lovers.

1. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

Still of Jake Johnson, Aubrey Plaza and Karan Soni in Safety Not Guaranteed. © Benjamin Kasulke.
Still of Jake Johnson, Aubrey Plaza and Karan Soni in Safety Not Guaranteed. © Benjamin Kasulke.
Run Time: 86 mins
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni, Mark Duplass
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.4/10
A truly charming, fresh and creative film, Safety Not Guaranteed brings something new to the table. Seattle-based magazine staff writer Jeff (Johnson, of New Girl fame) picks two interns to accompany him on an investigation into a classified ad seeking someone to accompany a man who says he can travel back in time. Darius (Plaza) and Arnau (Duplass) are chosen and reluctantly make the trip with narcissistic jerk Jeff. Darius is ultimately forced to go undercover and answer the add and interact with Kenneth, who believes he has built a functioning time machine. However, the closer Darius and Kenneth become, and the more they open up to each other, the less clear it becomes if Kenneth is actually as crazy as he seemed. This movie definitely has an indie feel, but comes with great cinematography, witty dialogue, and an awesome soundtrack. A little slow to start, it picks up speed quickly and by the time it reaches the chase scene in the middle, it will have stolen many laughs. The actors bring the script to life, and the humor comes with a surprisingly emotional tinge as you try to decide for yourself if Kenneth is crazy or just misunderstood. Overall, one of the most interesting films on Netflix, it’s a must see!

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