There are more hidden gems to be discovered on Netflix UK than you might expect, and we’ve been combing through the streaming site’s current catalogue to find some of the most underappreciated comedies on offer.
We’ve come up with this fairly broad selection of films that varies on several fronts. We’ve picked out a mix of belly laughers and dark comedies, with a couple of dramedies thrown in for good measure. They’re not all big Hollywood comedies, but neither are they all films that you’re hearing about for the first time. What they all have in common is that whether they’re critically undervalued or just simply underseen, they all made us laugh and we reckon they’re worth a watch.
(We’ll keep this list updated as things arrive or leave the service to make sure you don’t run out of new things to try. Last update January 2020)
I’m Gonna Git You Sucka
Long before Scary Movie, White Chicks and Little Man came along, Keenen Ivory Wayans directed and starred in this affectionate blaxploitation parody, in which a hero must unite a band of other black heroes against the scourge of the gold chain market in his neighbourhood. It’s not as openly mocking of the style as the later Black Dynamite, but there are still obvious stuntmen and on-screen soundtrack accompaniments galore. We’ll take it like Damon Wayans and Kadeem Hardison’s hapless heavies keep taking the stairs – as quickly and painfully funny as possible.
Charlie is a rich kid who’s desperate to be popular, so he becomes the de facto psychiatrist at his new school, even going so far as to dole out prescription drugs to classmates in need. There’s a bittersweet quality to this one in the wake of Anton Yelchin’s tragic passing, but that’s all the more reason to see how great he is in this sharp teen comedy drama, in which the sparkling dialogue is both profound and profane. It’s more than a little bumpy in places, but it’s guided throughout by Yelchin’s charismatic lead performance, an against-type Robert Downey Jr and the radiant Kat Dennings.
Wet Hot American Summer
Here’s one that will inevitably have been taken up more after the Netflix Original series that followed it up, but if you still haven’t seen it, this summer camp comedy is essential nonsense. The likes of Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper and Amy Poehler play 16 year olds who live, love and plan for the all-important talent show on their last full day at Camp Firewood. The whole idea of adults playing teenagers was taken to illogical extremes, both in this film and in the Netflix series that expanded upon it. The only danger there was that Rudd and Banks apparently haven’t aged at all in the intervening 15 years, but it’s a good job they’re hilarious anyway.
Always Be My Maybe
Providing further proof that Netflix is a real safe haven for fans of romantic comedies, Always Be My Maybe arrived on the streaming service and made a real splash in the spring of 2019. Randall Park (The Dictator) plays the singer in a hilarious band, and Ali Wong (Tuca And Bertie) portrays a super-successful restauranteur. They both helped write the super-charming script (along with Michael Golamco), which paints the pair as old school friends that drifted apart instead of embracing their obvious feelings. Adult life forces them back together, and the chuckles come thick and fast. A surprising Keanu Reeves performance and some fun musical interludes provide the bells and whistles, but there’s also a proper heart at the core of this movie.
Eddie The Eagle
If you thought this was a farce about a rubbish ski jumper in the ‘80s you’d be dead wrong. In fact Dexter Fletcher’s loose comedy biopic of Eddie Edwards is deceptively uplifting, occasionally mildly terrifying (in the ski jump sequences) and very very funny. Egerton does a terrific job of portraying Edwards – not in fact a bad ski jumper, but a very good and very brave one from a poor background with none of the advantages he’d have needed to be a serious sporting success. Instead it’s Eddie’s dream just to get to the Winter Olympics in 1988 where he would become the first to represent Great Britain in ski jumping since 1928.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Based on the novel by Jenny Han, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was a huge hit for Netflix when it landed in 2018 (and there’s a sequel on the way). It was such a success, in fact, that it became one of the select few Netflix Original movies to get a sequel. Why was it so good? Well, the fantastic central turn from Lana Condor was a huge part of it, as was the fact that Noah Centineo became a beloved internet heartthrob off the back of his performance here. The uber-relatable themes of growing up and navigating awkward crushes didn’t hurt, either. While fans wait for the sequel, then, check this film out if you haven’t already.
Wait! No! Come back! Before you raise your eyebrows so far that they fall off the top of your forehead, allow us to make our case for recommending this straight-to-Netflix vehicle for Adam Sandler. With a stellar supporting cast that includes Jennifer Aniston, David Walliams, Luke Evans, Terence Stamp and Gemma Arterton, this is an Adam Sandler movie for people that have gone off Adam Sandler movies. Here, the Happy Gilmore star plays a truly naff cop that can’t crack a case to save his life. Aniston plays his wife, an obsessive reader of mystery novels, who fares a lot better when the pair find themselves on a yacht where blood keeps spilling. Perfect viewing for a lazy day at home, this is pure comfort food that packs in a lot of laughs.
The Fundamentals Of Caring
This unconventional indie comedy premiered at Sundance and is classic Sundance fare – lo-fi, sweet natured and gently funny. Paul Rudd plays a writer who takes a job as a carer for 18-year-old Trevor (Craig Roberts), a man with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The two embark on a road trip to visit the world’s deepest pit meeting various outsiders on the way. It’s ruder and cheekier than it sounds, bolstered by excellent performances all round. Ignore the slightly mawkish title, this one’s definitely worth caring about.
The Breaker Upperers
This weird, brilliant New Zealand rom-com written by, directed by, and starring Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek deserves more love. The pair star as best friends who run an agency offering to break up with people’s partners for them. Exec produced by Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, it’s packed with absurd humour including a very weird, very funny lap dance in a police station. This would appeal to fans of What We Do In The Shadows and Flight Of The Conchords and indeed Jemaine Clement has a cameo. It’s also a rather sweet movie about female friendship, underneath all the laughs.
The Other Guys
Well received at release but somehow largely forgotten since, this twist on the buddy cop comedy is well worth a look if you’ve not seen it already. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg play mismatched officers who aren’t taken seriously by their colleagues. After New York’s all-star cops are killed in the line of duty, Ferrell’s risk-averse forensic accountant and Wahlberg’s hot headed detective decide to step up to the plate. Packed with quotable one-liners and action set-pieces, The Other Guys is a smart, sweet parody that works as a cop movie in its own right as well as a very funny comedy.
Check out our The Other Guys review.
Ok this is a bit of a nostalgia hit for us. It’s not wildly hilarious and it is kinda dated. But there’s still so much to be enjoyed about this coming-of-age comedy starring Lili Taylor, Annabeth Gish and Julia Roberts as girls who work in a pizza parlour and have various romantic dilemmas. It’s none more ’80s (it came out in 1988) and marks the screen debut of Matt Damon as well as Roberts with some serious enormo-hair. If you’re in the mood for a girly John Hughes-esque night in, this should definitely scratch the itch.