Perhaps you’ve noticed that, in recent weeks, Netflix has taken to advertising some of its more popular content by flagging titles as part of its “Top 10.” It also orders those picks; the “Tiger King” docuseries is up top, of course. As of this writing, a new romantic comedy titled “Love Wedding Repeat” ranks sixth.
Netflix has become a bit of a rom-com factory in recent years, producing movies that entertain either because of their innovative writing or, in most cases, their enjoyable frivolity. Given that the streamer has complete control over where it positions new releases on any given user’s home screen, it makes sense to see something like “Love Wedding Repeat,” which leans frivolous, land among the most watched.
What Netflix will not tell you is whether “Love Wedding Repeat” is actually worth your time. The hours we allot to escapism nowadays are precious, so to help you make your viewing decisions, we present a list of popular Netflix rom-coms – including that one – ranked from worst to best.
10. ‘The Last Summer’ (2019)
Filled with “teen” actors you might know from television – K.J. Apa from the CW’s “Riverdale,” Maia Mitchell from Freeform’s “The Fosters,” Tyler Posey from MTV’s “Teen Wolf” – this rom-com has a recognizable cast going for it. Unfortunately, that’s about it. The movie adopts the “Love, Actually” format of focusing on several intersecting stories that take place the summer after senior year. Each story feels contrived, the dialogue strained; especially in a scene involving Apa and Mitchell flirting over chicken wings, you might wonder whether the writers actually know a teenager.
9. ‘Tall Girl’ (2019)
The premise of “Tall Girl” was widely mocked, but it does make some sense – teenagers are self-conscious, and this one, Jodi (Ava Michelle), is most insecure about her height. The story follows a rom-com template, as Jodi ignores her lovestruck best friend, Dunkleman (Griffin Gluck), while pursuing a Swedish exchange student (Luke Eisner). The execution is where things fall apart. For instance: The movie places just as much importance on Jodi’s self-acceptance as it does the big reveal of why Dunkleman carries his belongings around in a milk crate instead of a backpack.
8. ‘The Kissing Booth’ (2018)
Netflix found great success with “The Kissing Booth,” which centers on a high school junior named Elle (Joey King) who falls for her best friend’s rebellious older brother, Noah (Jacob Elordi). The story is based on a Wattpad novel, which didn’t get much of an edit in the adaptation process. While engaging, the movie still contains a troubling amount of sexist rhetoric and romanticizes an unhealthy dynamic between Elle and the exceedingly controlling Noah, whom she often refers to as a “violence junkie.” It’s a shame given the talent of King, who received an Emmy nod for her lead role in Hulu’s “The Act,” and Elordi, a solid performer on HBO’s “Euphoria.”
7. ‘Love Wedding Repeat’ (2020)
As the title suggests, “Love Wedding Repeat” depicts alternate versions of the same day on which Jack (Sam Claflin) tries to ensure his sister’s wedding celebration goes smoothly. Both versions involve him fighting off her ex-fling (Jack Farthing) and avoiding his own ex-girlfriend (Freida Pinto) while trying to spend time with his sister’s former roommate, Dina (Olivia Munn). There are far greater cinematic crimes than unoriginality, but that reminder does little to make this worth your full attention – especially when grouped with a lack of chemistry between the leads, jokes that never quite land and the narrator’s consistent reminders that, regardless of what these characters do, everything in life is up to chance. (If that’s the case, then why watch them do anything at all?)
6. ‘A Christmas Prince’ (2017)
This is the point in the ranking where things turn around, as “A Christmas Prince,” likely the most widely watched holiday movie Netflix has ever released, is so bad that it’s good. Rose McIver plays a journalist named Amber who is tasked with writing about Prince Richard (Ben Lamb) of the fictional kingdom Aldovia. Against all odds – and journalistic principles – the stately European prince and the American writer, who is quirky because she only wears Converse sneakers, fall in love.
5. The other Noah Centineo movies (2018-20)
After wooing rom-com lovers as kind jock Peter Kavinsky in “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” Noah Centineo claimed his status as Netflix’s boy king. (Sorry, Timothée.) While his latter efforts weren’t nearly as successful, they are perfectly fine for when you might want to turn off your brain. In “The Perfect Date,” he plays a high schooler named Brooks Rattigan who aspires to fulfill the destiny that very name bestowed upon him by attending Yale University. In “Sierra Burgess Is a Loser,” he is catfished into believing he is corresponding with popular girl Veronica (Kristine Froseth) when he is actually speaking to Sierra (Shannon Purser), who is insecure about her looks. “To All the Boys: P.S. I Love You” paled in comparison to its predecessor, so we’ll stick it here, too.
4. ‘Someone Great’ (2019)
“Someone Great” is technically a breakup movie, though it contains flashbacks of the budding romance between Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) and her college sweetheart, Nate (Lakeith Stanfield). The movie is emotionally honest and funny in a bittersweet way, focusing on how Jenny comes to terms with the end of her relationship thanks to the support of her best friends, Erin (DeWanda Wise) and Blair (Brittany Snow). Plus, it has a really great soundtrack.
3. ‘Set It Up’ (2018)
Our Washington Post colleague Bethonie Butler wrote a helpful piece on why you might want to watch “Set It Up,” in which the leads, Harper (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie (Glen Powell), try to set up their respective high-powered bosses, ESPN reporter/start-up chief Kirsten (Lucy Liu) and venture capitalist Rick (Taye Diggs). The plot is predictable in that it embraces tropes of rom-coms past, but it never gets boring. Deutch and Powell bring an electric chemistry and modern feel to the movie.
2. ‘Always Be My Maybe’ (2019)
“Always Be My Maybe” is the brainchild of stars Randall Park and Ali Wong, who have known each other since the late 1990s. That level of familiarity comes through in the film, in which they play childhood best friends who drift apart and reconnect as adults. Now a celebrity chef, Sasha Tran (Wong) discovers she might have feelings for Marcus Kim (Park), who now works for his father’s HVAC company and raps in a band – a gradual discovery that, thankfully, still allows for a few delightful scenes with her beau Keanu Reeves (who plays a parody of himself).
1. ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ (2018)
For all the dud rom-coms it produces, Netflix still comes out with a fair share of gems; “To All the Boys,” based on Jenny Han’s young adult novel, is surely the best of them all. Not only is its bookish protagonist, Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor), secure in her sense of self, but her love interest, jock Peter Kavinsky (Centineo), remains kind and thoughtful throughout. They strike a mutually beneficial deal in which they pretend to date, aimed at making Peter’s ex jealous and convincing Lara Jean’s neighbor she isn’t in love with him. It isn’t surprising that they fall for each other instead, but you might feel more compelled than usual to root for these teens to make it.
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