Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

This Netflix Rom-Com Is A Critical Bomb - But It's Still Blowing Up The Charts

Netflix is continuing to churn out fan-favorite hits. With the rise of streaming and changes in the theatrical landscape, Netflix has made a name for itself as one of the few studios still betting on romantic comedies. Over the last decade, the genre has all but disappeared from multiplexes, though that is changing thanks to hits like Sydney Sweeney's box office phenomenon "Anyone But You" and Sandra Bullock's adventure-romance "The Lost City." While it remains to be seen if these productions merely performed miracles at the box office, Netflix still stands out as the true champion of romantic comedies in the modern age with hits like "Set It Up," "Wedding Season," and "Always Be My Maybe." 

Now, there's a new kid on the Netflix romantic comedy block. And while it may not be winning the hearts of critics, it's lighting up the charts, making it another hit. "Players," starring "Jane the Virgin" standout Gina Rodriguez, and "Lucifer" star Tom Ellis is making waves on the streaming platform. The picture, directed by Trish Sie, was the number-one film on the Netflix global charts between February 12 and 18 2024. Overall, it was viewed over 16 million times globally during that period, beating the likes of "Lover, Stalker, Killer," and "Despicable Me 3." Seeing as the picture debuted on February 14, it managed to become the number-one film on Netflix in just five days. 

Despite its popularity, it only boasts a rotten 46% score on Rotten Tomatoes from critics. Pajiba writer Petr Navovy was particularly dismissive of the film, calling it "blandly bad and boring," while adding that it feels AI-generated. Ouch. 

Players isn't a romantic classic but it does have its fans

Some critics didn't mind "Players," with many calling it a decent offering that's worth a watch if you're in the mood for a modern romantic comedy. The New York Times was particularly enthusiastic about the film, with critic Alissa Wilkinson writing, "'Players' is an old-fashioned romantic comedy, which means you know the end from the start. That's not a bug; it's a feature, a well-deployed one in this case." 

Seeing as it's dominating Netflix, the film is definitely worth a watch for those who want to keep up-to-date with contemporary romantic comedies. But popularity doesn't necessarily equate to positivity. Audiences are mostly mixed on "Players," which focuses on Mack (Rodriguez) finally deciding that she's ready for a relationship. It has a 51% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning mixed-to-positive feedback. Over on the film social media site Letterboxd, the film boasts a 2.6 rating out of five. Dig deeper into the reviews and the general consensus from viewers seems to suggest that "Players" is just a middle-of-the-road fare that doesn't offend. "Amusing; cheesy; light; predictable; watchable; well-cast," wrote Letterboxd user joshrowley in a 3-star review. 

"Players" isn't a romantic comedy classic, but it's good enough Tuesday night viewing for those in the mood for something light. And for what it's worth, Rodriguez, who also executive produces the film, is just excited to be part of a genre that doesn't show any signs of stopping. "Well, I think rom-coms are timeless," she told Bustle. "They last forever. We love them because we love to laugh and we love to cry." Amen.