25 Comedies on Netflix Canada to Watch When You Need a Laugh
From political satires to rich-girl parodies, these comedy movies on Netflix are guaranteed to make you grin.
Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Everyone assumed childhood friends Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) would wind up together—except for Sasha and Marcus, that is. Fifteen years after graduating high school, she’s a celebrity chef and he’s a struggling musician. Will the two reconnect and find their happily-ever-after? Always Be My Maybe cleverly subverts Hollywood’s Asian stereotypes—and co-stars a never-better Keanu Reeves playing a fictionalized version of himself.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
After being dumped by his girlfriend, electronics store employee Shaun (Simon Pegg) sinks into existential despair—until a zombie apocalypse that threatens to destroy England gives him the ultimate chance for redemption. Expertly acted and filled with one brilliant sight gag after another, Shaun of the Dead is one of the best horror spoofs ever made.
The Other Guys (2010)
According to The Other Guys, there are two kinds of cops in the New York City Police Department: those who solve crimes in style (despite causing millions of dollars worth of property damage), and those who file paperwork. Desk-bound detectives Allen (Will Ferrell) and Terry (Mark Wahlberg) belong to the latter group—Allen is a mild-mannered forensic scientist, while Terry is a hothead whose sole claim to fame is mistakenly shooting Derek Jeter. The two finally get their hands on the case of a lifetime, however, when a routine investigation into a scaffolding violation turns out to be anything but. The Other Guys milks its testosterone-filled, buddy-cop premise for all it’s worth—and the results are side-splitting.
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The Big Lebowski (1998)
Meet “The Dude” (Jeff Bridges): habitual pot smoker, lover of White Russian cocktails and, as described by a mysterious narrator, “quite possibly the laziest man in Los Angeles County.” The Big Lebowski may not be the easiest film to follow—it features fake kidnappings, German nihilists, kooky dream sequences and lots of bowling. Like other movies by the Coen Brothers, though, the laughs are plenty—and pop up in unexpected ways.
“Searching for a boy in high school is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie.” Amy Heckerling’s classic comedy about wealthy and fashion-conscious high schooler Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) and a colourful cast of friends, parents, teachers and “Baldwins” is a strong contender for the most quotable movie of the ’90s. Jane Austen’s Emma has been adapted no less than 16 times, but can any version ever top Clueless? As if!
Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)
Brian Cohen (Graham Chapman) is no stranger to living on the sidelines: after all, the Bethlehem native was born in the stable next door to the baby Jesus. Adulthood is equally uneventful for the idealistic Brian—until, through a silly sequence of events, he’s mistaken for the actual Messiah. The rest of the Python gang—John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam—shine in roles as varied as religious fanatics and ex-lepers. Life of Brian’s show-stopping musical number, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” may be the happiest song ever written about death.
Legally Blonde (2001)
From being sorority president to gracing her campus calendar as Miss June, Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) has got it made. Her West Coast credentials, however, are no match for the East Coast Ivy League—that’s made abundantly clear to Elle when she chooses to study at Harvard Law School to impress her pretentious ex. Charming, funny and highly re-watchable, Legally Blonde is a statement of self-empowerment for the ages.
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Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis star as Manhattan-based “paranormal scientists” who form the Ghostbusters, an elimination service for spirits and ghouls. After adding Winston (Ernie Hudson) as their fourth member, the quartet is forced to battle it out with a supernatural demigod, Zuul, who possesses a cellist (Sigourney Weaver) and threatens to destroy New York City. More than 35 years later, Ghostbusters is still a complete blast.
The Great Dictator (1940)
Charlie Chaplin was not one to shy away from big issues—his previous film, 1936’s Modern Times, was essentially a 90-minute-long critique of class inequality. With The Great Dictator, the legendary funnyman sets his sights on Adolf Hitler and plays two roles: the buffoonish dictator of the fictional “Tomainia” and a persecuted Jewish barber. The result is a masterpiece of satire and slapstick—Chaplin’s iconic final speech is as relevant now as it was in 1940.
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Deadpool 2 (2018)
After losing his one true love (Morena Baccarin), the foul-mouthed, fourth-wall-breaking mercenary Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) assembles a team of fellow mutants to protect a powerful young boy from Cable (Josh Brolin), a time-travelling cyborg with mysterious intentions. (Deadpool 2 also boasts the funniest cameo of the decade!)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
No comedy encapsulates the feeling of total freedom quite like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. From unforgettable set pieces (that dance-your-heart-out musical number) to classic quotes (“How could I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this…”), there’s no finer—or funnier—tribute to the healing power of a good time.
Our favourite quote? “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Make sure you don’t miss it by practicing mindfulness.
The Squid and the Whale (2005)
Being a child of divorce can be messy and heartbreaking—in the case of The Squid and the Whale, however, it can also be funny. Set in the 1980s, this Academy Award-nominated indie comedy follows the separation of blowhard writing teacher Bernard (Jeff Daniels) and literary agent Joan (Laura Linney). Their two young sons (Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline), meanwhile, cope with the situation in bizarre and amusing ways.
Thunder Road (2018)
All things considered, Jim Arnaud (Jim Cummings) is having a rough go of things. The Texan police officer just botched the eulogy at his mother’s funeral (it involved an ill-conceived attempt to dance to Bruce Springsteen’s sentimental “Thunder Road”), is going through a toxic custody battle with his soon-to-be-ex-wife, and is grossly underperforming at work. Downward spirals have never been so darkly funny—and so deeply moving—as in Thunder Road.
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Irritable ogre Shrek (Mike Myers) loves his solitude more than anything in the world. Shrek’s peace and quiet is destroyed, however, when his humble abode is invaded by a motley crew of famous fairy tale characters, all banished from their kingdom by the evil Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). Boasting impressive voice work and a surprisingly irreverent script, Shrek is perfect viewing for children and adults alike.
Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
If Looney Tunes was rated-R, the result would be Kung Fu Hustle. Set in Guangzhou, China, in the 1940s, this cartoonish action-comedy follows Sing (Stephen Chow), a village idiot who wants to become a member of the dangerous Axe Gang. The only area not under the gang’s rule is Pig Sty Alley: a slum whose landlords happen to be legendary kung fu masters in disguise.
In Chicago, three parents (Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz) discover their daughters’ pact to lose their virginity at prom. The trio’s solution? A secret one-night operation to stop the teens from going all the way. With wry observations about the generation gap and plenty of gross-out gags, Blockers is a coming-of-age comedy told from the point of view of adults.
(Apparently, you’re having the best sex of your life when your this age.)
3 Idiots (2009)
After clashing with an oppressive mentor at an Indian engineering college, the brilliant Rancho (Aamir Khan) suddenly disappears without a trace. Ten years later, his old buddies, Farhan (R. Madhavan) and Raju (Sharman Joshi), embark on a quest to find him, reminiscing about old times and paths not taken. Silly and unabashedly sentimental, 3 Idiots is a hilarious critique of India’s education system.
Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
In this Golden Globe-nominated Netflix original, Eddie Murphy portrays real-life Rudy Ray Moore, a comedy and rap pioneer who proved doubters wrong when his hilarious kung-fu fighting alter ego, Dolemite, became a 1970s Blaxploitation smash.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Based on the graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley, this offbeat action-comedy doubles as a veritable love letter to the city of Toronto. Nerdy musician Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) tries to win the love of cool girl Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) by battling her seven evil exes. Along the way, a greatest hits-style line-up of Toronto attractions are given the spotlight, including the CN Tower, Distillery District and the Baldwin Steps.
A genial bouncer, Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott), gets a chance to play for the minor league Halifax Highlanders after the team’s coach sees him handily win a fight. Doug’s job? Protect skilled prospect Xavier Laflamme (Marc-André Grondin) from brutal enforcer Ross “The Boss” Rhea (Liev Schreiber). Goon is essential viewing for hockey lovers.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
There’s been no shortage of revisionist films made about the Old West, but the Coen Brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs may be the funniest. This anthology film tells six separate tales about the American frontier: a self-mythologizing gunslinger (Tim Blake Nelson), a down-on-his-luck cowboy (James Franco), a cold-blooded talent manager (Liam Neeson), a grizzled prospector (Tim Waits), a young woman travelling across the Prairies (Zoe Kazan), and a group of stagecoach passengers on an otherworldly journey.
The Death of Stalin (2018)
Absolutely nobody is safe from harm in this Cold War comedy from writer Armando Iannucci (Veep). It’s 1953 Moscow, and the Soviet Union’s omnipresent leader, Joseph Stalin, suffers a brain hemorrhage and becomes paralyzed. Inevitably, the senior members of the Council of Ministers scramble to maintain order and, ultimately, take power for themselves. Featuring a stellar cast (Steve Buscemi, Jason Isaacs, Andrea Riseborough and Olga Kurylenko, to name a few), The Death of Stalin is a satirical romp.
Love Actually (2003)
Featuring an all-star ensemble, Love Actually is widely regarded as a modern-day Christmas staple—although it doesn’t have to be December for you to enjoy it. There’s something here to love—and laugh at—for virtually every kind of viewer: the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (Hugh Grant) falling for a junior staff member; a widower (Liam Neeson) helping his stepson express his feelings to a classmate; or the tale of a working mom (Emma Thompson) trying to rekindle the passion in her marriage.
Back to the Future (1985)
As a result of his friendship with eccentric scientist Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), high schooler Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is accidentally sent back in time from the 1980s to the 1950s. While there, Marty inadvertently interferes with the relationship between his soon-to-be parents (Lea Thompson and Crispin Glover), putting his own existence in jeopardy. A playful and brilliantly-crafted crowd-pleaser, Back to the Future cemented the careers of Fox and director Robert Zemeckis.
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
At a time when it’s illegal to sell Coors beer east of the Mississippi River without a permit, legendary race car driver Bandit (Burt Reynolds) agrees to a hair-raising deal: transport 400 cases of the beverage from Texas to Atlanta in 28 hours for $80,000. Along the journey, he picks up runaway bride Carrie (Sally Field). Unbeknownst to Bandit and Carrie, her would-be father-in-law, Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason), is hot on their tails.
Next, find out why laughter could be the best medicine for stress and anxiety.