As summer movie premieres slowly begin to taper out, Netflix is adding some classic comedy favorites to its library.
Newly streaming on Netflix this month are comedy favorites like John Hughes’ “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” a Jane Austen reinterpretation, “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and the Ryan Gosling flick “The Nice Guys,” in which he stars alongside Russell Crowe in the action-comedy that internet has rediscovered since the premiere of the Netflix original “The Gray Man.”
Netflix will also be rolling out classic contemporary romantic comedies starring some of TV’s biggest names.
As one of the greatest recent romantic comedies, “Bridget Jones’s Diary” is coming back to Netflix this month. Renée Zellweger’s Bridget Jones has become such an important fixture in popular culture as one of the many reinterpretations of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” As the “imperfect” protagonist, Zellweger develops Bridget from the pages of Helen Fielding’s book onto the screen. Released in 2001, starring Colin Firth as the “arrogant” Mark Darcy and Hugh Grant as her flirtatious handsome boss, Daniel Cleaver, the ensemble is what rom-com dreams are made of. Brimming with rom-com tropes from start to finish, Zellweger, Firth and Grant hone in on what made them bonafide movie stars, perfecting their comedic performances. “Bridget Jones’s Diary” makes you appreciate the simplicity of the rom-com premise, and the ease of revisiting stories from classic literature.
“The Nice Guys”
Receiving a social media resurgence, the Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe detective comedy “The Nice Guys” has flown under the radar for the past six years, and it seems now fans are finally discovering it. Set in 1970s Los Angeles, PI Holland March (Gosling) and “enforcer” Jackson Healy (Crowe) team up to find a missing teenage girl, Amelia Kuttner, portrayed by Margaret Qualley (“Maid“). As a single father, Holland brings his daughter, Holly, portrayed by Angourie Rice (“Mare of Easttown”) around some of the mafia-related criminal chaos. Gosling’s comedic talents reach a culmination months before his award-winning performance in “La La Land.” As an actor that trades off between dramatic, action, and comedic roles, “The Nice Guys” highlights Gosling’s ability to collaborate and riff with his scene partners as well as independently provide comedic relief. Crowe’s comedic performance is more of the “straight man,” playing into his experience as a dramatic actor. The quips and the riffs Gosling and Russell work in co-writer and director Shane Black’s film make for one of the more exciting comedies coming to Netflix this month.
Coming off a series of hit films from the ‘90s, Sandra Bullock confirmed her place as a true movie star by 2000 in the rom-com hit “Miss Congeniality.” Following 1995’s “While You Were Sleeping” with the lighter “Miss Congeniality,” Bullock brought the comedy back to the romantic-comedy genre. Bullock stars as FBI agent Gracie, one of the few women on the team, and becomes a big asset after the agency learns about a possible terrorist threat at the Miss United States beauty pageant. After proposing planting an undercover cop at the event, Gracie is directed to be the undercover asset and poses as Miss New Jersey. An iconic comedic ensemble — including Michael Caine, Candice Bergen, William Shatner, Ernie Hudson and Benjamin Bratt — provide the background comedic effects to Bullock’s very physical comedy. “Miss Congeniality” was so successful it spawned a sequel, “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous” which is also available to stream on Netflix.
“Dinner for Schmucks“
Six years after the “Anchorman” premiered, stars Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell reunited in 2010 for the comedy “Dinner for Schmucks.” Rudd portrays Tim as the corporate executive who is finally invited to his work superiors’ dinner, but Tim quickly learns the employees must bring a guest, a certain type of guest — one the group would regard as an “idiot,” which is where Carrell’s Barry enters. In a world of “Ted Lasso’s,” this isn’t the kindest premise, but the comedic performances from the all-star ensemble highlight their talents enough to brush off the premise. Not regarded by critics as one of the best comedy concepts, the comedic work from Steve Carrell solidifies why and how his move from network television into a full-fledged comedic movie star was one of the most successful recent transitions. The comedy also stars some of Hollywood’s finest comedic actors, including Jemaine Clement, Octavia Spencer, Chris O’Dowd, Zach Galifianakis, Nick Kroll, Alex Borstein, Larry Wilmore, Bruce Greenwood, Andrea Savage, Kristen Schaal, Randall Park, Ron Livingston and Lucy Punch.
“No Strings Attached“
While romantic comedies of the 2010s were few and far between, “No Strings Attached” starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher has become a staple in the contemporary rom-com canon. Sitcom star Ashton Kutcher ventured into film, specifically rom-coms, positioning his role as Adam in “No Strings Attached” as an archetype Kutcher had polished by 2011. Portraying various types of rom-com leading men, Kutcher’s Adam took on a different demeanor, taking the back seat to Portman’s Emma, and Kutcher doesn’t play up his comedic abilities as much as he did during his sitcom days. Leading the film, Portman brings her dramatic background to Emma, the strait-laced medical student. However, comedic effects come through with Portman’s quick one-liners, the clumsy physicality of their relationship and the implementation of the secondary characters.
“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off“
The 1986 comedy “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” stands as one of John Hughes’ best films — and possibly one of film history’s greatest films. The teen comedy stars Matthew Broderick as Ferris, Mia Sara as Sloane, and “Succession’s” Alan Ruck as Cameron. The three teens take the day off school and participate in one of the most jam-packed days Chicago tourists could only dream of. This film follows the trio as the explore Art Institute of Chicago, Sears Tower, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Wrigley Field, and Ferris joins a parade float serenading the crowd with “Twist and Shout.” Before covering every inch of Chicago, Ferris develops an intricate plan, with plenty of moving parts back starting with consistently fooling his parents back at his childhood home, fooling the high school and its Principal Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), and convincing a sick Cameron to use his real sick day as a “day off.” The film brilliantly addresses the audience with Ferris breaking the fourth wall from the start of the film, cluing to the audience what he’s going to do next, what we should expect from the other characters, and dishing out iconic quotes. The trio’s fast-paced day reaches grander moments, met by several moments of being caught by Ferris’ parents or Principal Rooney. “Ferris Buller’s Day Off” is a pitch-perfect ‘80s film that serves as wish-fulfillment fantasy for anyone who’s ever gone to high school.
“Made of Honor“
At the height of his “Grey’s Anatomy” career, Patrick Dempsey starred in a few romantic comedies, including 2008’s “Made of Honor.” Dempsey stars opposite Michelle Monaghan in the “friends-to-lovers” film, which follows two college friends, Tom (Dempsey) and Hannah (Monaghan), as they begin to navigate Hannah’s new whirlwind romance with the wealthy Scotsman Colin (“Grey’s Anatomy’s” Kevin McKidd). After a decade of friendship under their belt, a quick business trip, and an even quicker engagement, Hannah requests Tom to be her “maid” of honor. Dempsey leads the film as the playboy womanizer, who has an epiphany at the start of the film, then battles his feelings for Hannah. In a classic “will they or won’t they,” Dempsey channels McDreamy’s charm and charisma, elevating the charming playboy with comedic physicality that’s removed from “Grey’s” but seen in his teen acting days in “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Monaghan embodies the “serious” elements of their friendship and evolving relationship. Dempsey and Monaghan star alongside director-actor Sydney Pollack, Chris Messina, Busy Phillips, and Kevin Sussman.