Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar

Classic Comedies Streaming on Netflix in July (2023)

Looking for a classic comedy binge? Netflix has got you covered.

In need of a good laugh, but unwilling to take the risk on a new slice of cinema that may disappoint? Netflix added some classic comedies to their platform this July that are tried-and-true pieces of comedy gold. So, grab the popcorn, and be careful when you take a sip of your soda  — you wouldn’t want to fall victim to an at-home spit take. 

‘Bridesmaids’ | 2011

With a stellar cast of actors who boast some of the best comedic timing and physical comedy chops in the biz, Bridesmaids is one of the funniest movies of the 21st century. Via relatable characters, grotesque gags (let’s not forget Maya Rudolph defecates in the street in a wedding gown), and emotionally-resonant moments, the film strays from the cliché female-led comedies, opting instead for crass mania. Not to mention, Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy emerge as triumphant living legends of comedy — the former via exercises in self-loathing and the latter via unpredictable behavior and deadpan delivery of ridiculous dialogue. 

‘Jumanji’ | 1995 

Robin Williams. Need we say more? Jumanji is a feel-good, family-friendly adventure film that boasts its fair share of high-stakes thrills and comedic moments. It’s got the perfect combination of magical cinematography, inspiring themes, and over-the-top characters like Hunter Van Pelt who exquisitely embody their intentionally two-dimensional boardgame origins. Despite the extravagant special effects and the never-ending stream of danger, the film makes time for more reflective character moments, making Jumanji a film that pulls at the heartstrings as much as it inspires chuckles. 

The 1995 film has even inspired a new franchise with Dwayne Johnson and Jack Black at the helm; the adventure-filled premise is ripe for revisiting, and the new movies pay homage to the original while finding a unique, contemporary stride. 

‘Kick-Ass’ | 2010

The 2010 action comedy flick Kick-Ass — featuring an all-star ensemble, including Chloë Grace Moretz, Nicolas Cage, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Evan Peters, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse — is a subversive and satirical take on the superhero genre. The film, with zero subtlety, pokes fun at society’s fascination with violence and vigilantism.

Cage’s Batman-esque ex-cop and Mintz-Plasse’s wannabee supervillain are just two of the film’s cast of eccentric and quirky leads. The film relies largely on dark humor, unexpected twists, and bloody violence to create an irreverent joyride not for the faint of heart. If you’re blood-squeamish, you may have to cover your eyes every so often (or half the time). However, the abundant pop culture references and quippy one-liners make for a perfect balance of violent action and comedy. 

The ‘Rush Hour’ Franchise | 1998, 2001, and 2007

The entire Rush Hour franchise, starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, is finally on Netflix. While the latter two films may not live up to their predecessor, the chemistry between Tucker and Chan makes these movies worth the ride. The franchise offers up classic buddy cop ingredients with a heaping dose of complex hand-to-hand combat sequences, car chases, and huge explosions. What more can you ask for? It’s a quotable film that places Chan’s straight-laced man of few words opposite Tucker’s crazy jokester who never shuts up. It’s a simple setup. A familiar one at that, but it works. 

‘Liar, Liar’ | 1997

Who could forget comedy legend Jim Carrey — celebrated for his elastic, seemingly inhuman-like transformative facial expressions — as the conniving attorney Fletcher Reede in Liar, Liar? Fletcher is a manipulative man whose devotion to work has cost him his wife, and his son doesn’t seem far behind (as Fletcher is always breaking his commitments). When his son wishes his father would stop lying for 24 hours, Fletcher discovers he can only physically verbalize the truth. 

Carrey’s exuberant delivery and top-notch physical comedy chops elevate this film above its thin plot. His enthusiasm is contagious. His knack for lunacy is on display. But, it’s controlled just enough to provide something with substance — something beyond a loony fool. A man. 

‘The Sweetest Thing’ | 2002

Though critically panned at the time of its release, The Sweetest Thing was way ahead of the curve in the female-led raunch comedy department. The Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, and Selma Blair-starring film has since been credited with paving the way for films like Bridesmaids and the more-recent Rough Night.

These three women were unafraid to venture where female-led comedy films dare not go before. Semen talk? Check. Glory holes. We’ll discuss it over a glass of Pinot. Poonani discussions. They’re on the conversational agenda. It’s amusing from start to finish and it’s unapologetically sexual from a female perspective (which was much less common in the early 2000s). 

Josh is an entertainment writer and editor at Thought Catalog.