Rom-coms, spoofs, stand-up: these streaming movies will take your mind off the outside world for awhile


You could probably use a pick-me-up right about now. 

We've been ordered to stay indoors for the foreseeable future — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday mandated a "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order that stretches through April 13 — and watching "Outbreak" on Netflix doesn't sound all that enjoyable at the moment. (Not that it did before, either.) 

A good comedy sounds fun. So as our quaranstream series continues, here are 20 comedies now streaming that will make you laugh, raise your spirits and leave you feeling a little bit better. Some are dumb-funny, some are sweet-funny. All are helpful at a time like this. 

20 Funny Feel-Good Movies now streaming  

"Dolemite is My Name" (Netflix) — Eddie Murphy is triumphant — yes, he should have been nominated for an Oscar — as Rudy Ray Moore in this wild tale about the making of 1975's "Dolemite" and the team of individuals who pulled together to make it happen. This is a rousing underdog story about the American Dream and shaping your own destiny, and it makes an unlikely hero out of Murphy's Moore. (R, 2019, 118 mins) 

"Hitch" (Netflix) — Will Smith was never more charming than he was in this romantic comedy, in which he plays Alex "Hitch" Hitchens, a pro in the art of dating who gives tips to the less fortunate to help them find lasting love. He meets his match in a feisty reporter (Eva Mendes) but the true joy comes from watching Hitch coach a hapless Kevin James to help him nab the girl of his dreams. (PG-13, 2005, 118 mins) 

"Booksmart" (Hulu) — Two friends (Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever) who spent their high school years focusing on academics rather than their social lives decide to party like rock stars (or at least like their peers have been doing all along) in this riotous comedy, a gender-flipped "Superbad" with an abundance of heart to match its booksmart wits. (R, 2019, 105 mins) 

"Kingpin" (Netflix) — “You can apply everything about bowling to your daily life.” So goes the wisdom of this bowling comedy — between this and "The Big Lebowski," bowling had a moment there in the '90s — about a former star roller (Woody Harrelson), his Amish prodigy (Randy Quaid) and his quest for redemption against a rock star on the pro circuit (Bill Murray). As ridiculous as it sounds. (PG-13, 1996, 117 mins) 

"The Original Kings of Comedy" (Netflix) — Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, Bernie Mac and D.L. Hughley tear up the stage in Spike Lee's documentary/ live concert about the four comedians' 2000 stand-up tour, which spawned a host of imitators and made household names of its stars. As for Spike's role, he doesn't interject at all; this is their show, and he knows it. (R, 2000, 115 mins) 

"The Naked Gun" (Netflix) — It's not the mother of all spoofs — that distinction belongs to "Airplane!" — but this slapstick slobberknocker packs in so many visual puns, sight gags and follies that it's near impossible to catch 'em all. Leslie Nielsen stars as Lt. Frank Drebin, who must stop a terrorist plot in L.A., which somehow involves him becoming an umpire at a Dodgers game. Just go with it. (PG-13, 1988, 85 mins) 

"Hot Rod" (Netflix) — Cool beans! Andy Samberg plays Rod Kimble, a wannabe-Evel Knievel out to please his late father in this daredevil comedy, which is just as much about the Lonely Island comic spirit as it is about landing sick jumps. Samberg, co-star Jorma Taccone and director Akiva Schaffer fill their film with random bits of jarringly oddball humor, inside jokes that they let the world in on. (PG-13, 2007, 88 mins) 

"Bridesmaids" (HBO Go) — Thanks to its ubiquity on cable, this comedy has become a modern classic, a movie you can pop on at any time and watch to the end. (Of the many superb setpieces, the airplane sequence stands out.) It made a star out of Melissa McCarthy but it's Wiig who shines brightest, not only with big laughs but by nailing the feeling of rejection when your best friend gets a new best friend. (R, 2011, 132 mins) 

"Cedar Rapids" (HBO Go) — Nothing sounds more dull than an insurance convention. That's the kick of this spunky comedy, starring Ed Helms as a buttoned-up insurance seller who attends a regional sales conference where he links up with a handful of colleagues (John C. Reilly is hilarious, Anne Heche is full of heart) and lets it rip for a weekend. Fun fact: that's Ann Arbor in the title role. (R, 2011, 87 mins) 

"Groundhog Day" (Netflix) — Every day is exactly the same. Sounds like quarantine, doesn't it? When Phil Connors (Bill Murray in his greatest role) finds himself stuck in a time loop, repeating the same day over and over, he takes charge of his destiny. This timeless comedy is still so relevant Murray sent it up in an ad during this year's Super Bowl, which was somehow only last month. (PG, 1993, 101 mins)

"Step Brothers" (Netflix) — Yep, this one was covered in our Best Movies on Netflix list, too. But you simply can't go wrong with this exercise in ridiculousness, in which Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are the ultimate man-children, one-upping each other scene-by-scene on who can display the least willingness to act like an adult human being. Do you wanna do karate in the garage? (R, 2008, 106 mins) 

"Frances Ha" (Netflix) — Greta Gerwig is a force of nature in Noah Baumbach's black-and-white comedy, about a New York dancer who dreams of making it big even though that ship has already sailed. Gerwig is so full of life she beams; a scene of her running and dancing through the streets of Manhattan while David Bowie's "Modern Love" plays over the soundtrack is unforgettable, Gerwig in a nutshell. (R, 2013, 95 mins)  

"Bridget Jones's Diary" (Hulu) — Renée Zellweger won Oscars for "Cold Mountain" and "Judy," but her most beloved role is that of Bridget Jones, the clumsy-in-love single gal at the center of the three "Bridget Jones" movies, which are all on Hulu. Start with the original, which casts our dear Bridget in a love triangle between her cad of a boss (Hugh Grant) and the kindly Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth); follow with the sequels. (R, 2001, 97 mins) 

"Between Two Ferns: The Movie" (Netflix) — There's a thin plot here that does not matter at all. The fun of "Between Two Ferns: The Movie," just as in Zach Galifianakis' series of painfully awkward sit-downs on which the movie is based, is watching stars such as David Letterman, Paul Rudd and Tessa Thompson squirm through questions aimed to expose the banality of celebrity interviews. (Not rated, 2019, 83 mins) 

"13 Going on 30" (Starz) — Middle-schooler Jenna Rink wants to be older. So she makes a wish and wakes up in the body of a 30-year-old Jennifer Garner in this sweet-natured riff on "Big," full of comic '80s nostalgia. Garner is all charm as the teenager-turned-magazine exec; Mark Ruffalo is delightful as her now-grown crush. "13 Going on 30" takes a familiar premise and situation and makes it dance. (PG-13, 2004, 98 mins) 

"Four Weddings and a Funeral" (Starz) — Up for Best Picture in one of the best fields ever — its fellow nominees were "Pulp Fiction," "The Shawshank Redemption," "Quiz Show" and "Forrest Gump" — this endearing British rom-com introduced the world to writer Richard Curtis (also on this list with "Notting Hill" and "Bridget Jones") and, of course, a dashing fellow known as Hugh Grant. (R, 1994, 117 mins) 

"National Lampoon’s Vacation" (Hulu) — The preeminent family man of our times, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase), packs up his wife and kids and heads out for a vacation none of them will ever forget in this 1983 comic classic. Other "Vacations" followed (Europe, Christmas, Vegas, even a reboot) but this one's still the best, and Walley the moose has a dented-in nose to prove it. (R, 1983, 99 mins) 

"Johnny English Strikes Again" (HBO Go) — You can't go see the new James Bond movie, which has been pushed back until (at least) November. But you can dial up this James Bond spoof, a stupid-funny goof with Rowan Atkinson as a super-spy who is constantly bumbling his way into getting the bad guy. You'll roll your eyes, you won't believe you're laughing, but you'll be laughing. (PG, 2018, 88 mins) 

"One Fine Day" (HBO Go) — George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer exude old-school movie star charisma in this delightful romantic comedy, in which they play exhausted parents shuffling their kids around the city on a particularly busy day. Yes, Clooney's at the point in his career where he's still acting with his chin, but there's magic in the air in this light crowd-pleaser that strikes just the right enchanting tone. (PG, 1996, 109 mins) 

"Notting Hill" (HBO Go) — She's just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to like her. Julia Roberts plays one of the world's biggest movie stars who comes down to Earth and falls for a London bookstore owner (Hugh Grant) in this whimsical romantic fantasy about the facade of celebrity and the astute readership of Horse and Hound magazine. A gem that will always brighten your day. (PG-13, 1999, 124 mins)  

Previously:The 20 best movies streaming right now on Netflix, 10 TV series to help quell the panic


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