Every genre has rules. A horror movie has to scare the audience, a romance has to have a love story, and romantic comedies are no different. In fact, traditional rom-coms have a shocking amount of rules. That said, there is the occasional movie in that genre that ignores all previous patterns set out before it, like these 17 rom-coms on Netflix that don't follow the rules.
Looking at classic rom-coms, it's easy to identify the romantic comedy rules (or tropes). There's the meet cute (aka the first meeting), the flirtation, and the awkward goofs that kick off a relationship. Now, depending on the rom-com, either the couple will get together and then break up or they'll play the will-they-won't-they-game until one party decides to deliver a dramatic declaration of love (Silver Linings Playbook has all these in one). And, no matter what happens, one party must always do something super embarrassing that she's later forced to apologize for (How to Lose A Guy In 10 Days).
Beyond plot, there are certain more stereotypical rules that rom-coms have been known to follow, most notably when it comes to gender roles. The girl is uptight and the guy is more fun and free (When Harry Met Sally, The Sure Thing), or the woman is desperate to get married and the man is unaffected (27 Dresses, Legally Blonde). Gender roles in rom-coms tend to be the toughest ones to beak, and not all the movies on this list of 17 rom-coms that don't follow the rules do it. But, they all break some kind of rom-com rule, and for that we're grateful.