Ah, love is in the air! Valentine’s Day is here, which makes this the season of romantic comedies. If you and your significant other are looking for rom-coms to watch on Valentine’s Day, we’ve got a selection of sweet treats streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus and HBO Max.
The romantic comedy genre has experienced something of a renaissance in recent years, thanks to streamers. Narrowing down the vast catalog to a reasonable number of options wasn’t easy, but we found a selection of rom-coms that should appeal to just about everybody. There are classics and newer hits on our list, plus a range of characters and relationships. But they all have one thing in common: the belief that love conquers all.
Here are our seven recommendations for romantic comedies to watch for Valentine’s Day.
10 Things I Hate About You
This modernized take on William Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew follows independent, acerbic Kat (Julia Stiles) and her boy-crazy sister Bianca (Larisa Oleynik). Their strict dad’s dating rules mean Bianca can’t date Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) until Kat has a boyfriend. A senior also interested in Bianca pays rebellious outsider Patrick (Heath Ledger) to woo Kat so he can take the younger sister to the prom and have sex with her. Kat rebuffs Patrick at first, but finds herself falling for his devilishly charming ways. When the truth comes out at prom, everything falls apart. As Shakespeare himself wrote, the course of true love never did run smooth.
Stream on Disney Plus
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Let’s talk about sex, baby — and not having any. That’s the dilemma faced by Andy (Steve Carell), a shy 40-year-old electronic store worker. He’s never had sex and after various failed attempts, he lives alone and spends most of his time playing video games and collecting action figures. His friends (Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen) decide to help him achieve the milestone with advice, social events and even a hooker. When Andy starts seeing Trish (Catherine Keener), he’s relieved when she sets a 20-date rule for having sex. But when the time approaches, will Andy be too nervous to do the deed?
Stream on Hulu
Always Be My Maybe
This delightful romantic comedy stars Asian American leads, and that's something that’s far too rare in Hollywood. Comedian Ali Wong and veteran actor Randall Park play childhood best friends — she’s literally the girl next door — who grow apart after an awkward sexual encounter as teens. When they meet again years later, she’s a celebrity chef and he’s still living at home, and they both have significant others. They still connect over their shared history and their chemistry is undeniable (even with Keanu Reeves in the picture).
Stream on Netflix
The adaptation of a popular YA novel isn’t the first coming-of-age gay love story to hit the screen, but it is one of the first to be made by a major studio and see mainstream success. Simon (Nick Robinson) is a closeted teen who befriends, then falls for an anonymous gay classmate over email. When a school play castmate threatens to out Simon by releasing those emails, Simon is forced to overcome his fears about telling his family and friends the truth of who he is. And he must gather the courage to seek out his mysterious crush.
Stream on Hulu
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
This utterly charming indie came out of virtually nowhere to take the rom-com world by storm. Toula (Nia Vardalos) is still single at the age of 30, which is very concerning to her traditional Greek parents Gus (Michael Constantine) and Maria (Lainie Kazan). While working at her family's restaurant, she develops a crush on a handsome teacher named Ian (John Corbett) who is most definitely not Greek.
After taking computer classes and getting a makeover, Toula gains confidence that attracts Ian. They begin dating, but introducing him to her big, messy, loud Greek family is a daunting task.
Stream on HBO Max
Sandra Bullock is one of the many queens of the romantic comedy genre, having appeared in classics like Miss Congeniality, While You Were Sleeping and Two Weeks Notice. But our favorite might be The Proposal, which pairs her with the quip-tastic Ryan Reynolds. Bullock plays a high-powered publishing executive who is facing deportation to her native Canada and tells immigration that she’s engaged to her assistant, Andrew. He agrees to go along with the charade, but imposes a few conditions, including flying to Alaska to meet his family. As they open up to each other, the ruse starts to become a reality.
Stream on Apple TV Plus
Set It Up
Assistants Harper (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie (Glen Powell) are both overworked by their high-flying bosses, media maven Kirsten (Lucy Liu) and venture capitalist Rick (Taye Diggs). So, what’s their solution to too many late nights and insane demands? Set the bosses up with each other, so they spend more time together and less at work — what could go wrong? If you've ever seen a rom-com, you know the answer is everything.
This matchmaking comedy is the feature debut of renowned TV director Claire Scanlon and features two endearing leads in Deutch and Powell.
Stream on Netflix