Enemies falling in love is a staple of romance movies. It’s the age-old tale of a boy meets a girl. They see each other from across the room. Their eyes meet, and they instantly feel nothing but irritation and annoyance. Soon the backhanded compliments, arguing, and biting jokes turn into witty banter, a passionate kiss, and endless romance.
Enemies to lovers aren’t limited to romantic movies. Classic flicks that blend genres often feature two characters from different worlds whose personalities clash at first, but evolve into deep love, trust, and respect, as you will find out below.
13 Best Enemies To Lovers Movies
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1. How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
Some enemies hate each other the moment they lock eyes. For Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) and Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey), they hide their true intentions and authentic selves, causing nothing but conflict.
Before they meet, ad executive Barry sets out to prove he can make any woman fall in love with him in 10 days to land an important ad campaign. Meanwhile, writer Anderson plans on a piece that examines how to make a guy fall in love with her and leave her in 10 days.
Anderson tries everything to repel Barry, from moving in too quickly and tricking him into a Celine Dion concert to missing the winning shot at a Knicks game. Once in a while, Anderson lets her guard down, showing Barry her true self and causing him to fall in love deeper. Even when the truth comes out, they can’t deny their feelings and it’s happily ever after.
2. Star Wars Skywalker Saga (1977-1983)
The original Star Wars trilogy revolves around Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance battling the evil Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire. While Luke is busy bringing balance to the force, Han Solo and Princess Leia have their own thing going on.
Solo and Leia can barely stand each other when they first meet after a daring rescue mission. Solo thinks Leia is just a spoiled princess, while she assumes he’s pompous and egotistical. Fighting alongside each other, they realize they are both wrong. Their battles and near death brings them closer together, with their witty banter making their relationship that much more engaging.
3. The Hating Game (2021)
When Josh and Lucy’s publishing firms merge, the two rivals find themselves in direct competition for the same promotion. Since they despise each other, they bet the person who doesn’t get the promotion will quit because of their mutual disdain.
Josh and Lucy are complete opposites in every way possible, adding to their intense dislike for each other. Well, like they say – opposites attract. They become intensely attracted to each other despite their feud. After one more misunderstanding, they discover their budding romance is more important than promotion.
4. The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement meets up with Princess Mia (Anne Hathaway) five years after the first film. Mia’s forced into an early marriage to ensure she ascends to the throne. While she searches for a suitor, MP Viscount Mabrey suggests his nephew Lord Nicholas Devereaux should take the throne since he’s a male.
Despite an initial attraction, Mia loathes Nicolas. As the competition heats up, their attraction grows stronger. The bitter enemies soon fall in love, with Nicolas even refusing the crown and professing his love for the new Queen Mia.
5. Dirty Dancing (1987)
Set in a vacation resort, Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey) comes from a wealthy family, while dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) comes from the wrong side of the tracks. They make assumptions about each other without getting to know one another.
Things change when Baby becomes Castle’s dance partner for an upcoming competition. At first, they continue to annoy each other, especially when Baby struggles to pick up the dance moves, but they soon start to open up and understand each other better, allowing their love to blossom, culminating in that dance number.
6. Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Based on the Jane Austen novel of the same name, Pride & Prejudice is a classic romantic tale of two people that dislike each other at first sight. Set in the 18th century, Mr. Bennet hopes to find a husband for each of his five daughters. One of his daughters, Elizabeth Bennett (Keira Knightly), instantly disdains her suitor, Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen), after she overhears him making unflattering comments.
Her dislike for Darcy grows even though he tries to win her over. Despite Bennett being lower class, Darcy even proposes, although he offends her again. Bennett learns her preconceived notions about Mr. Darcy were wrong, and with her feelings changing, she finally accepts Mr. Darcy’s proposal.
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7. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)
In Mr. and Mrs. Smith, John (Brad Pitt) and Jane’s (Angelina Jolie) marriage is struggling due to their mundane and ordinary life in the suburbs. They’re both hiding secrets, causing feelings of distance and mistrust in the relationship. The big secret turns out to be the fact that both John and Jane are assassins whose organization hires them to kill each other.
After a few failed attempts at taking each other out, they meet in an epic showdown, destroying their house but saving their marriage. Learning to communicate and open up, they team together to take down their previous bosses who want them dead in a thrilling conclusion.
8. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
The new kid in school, Cameron (Joesph Gordon-Levitt), instantly falls for Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) but finds out her father has some strict dating rules. He then convinces the school bad boy, Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), to ask out Bianca’s anti-social and tough-as-nails sister Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) so he can date Bianca. There’s only one problem; Kat can’t stand Patrick and turns him down.
Patrick persists until he finally starts to win Kat’s affection. By this point, Patrick’s falling for Kat too, but they still have a lot of fighting to do before profession their love for each other. Despite being from two different worlds, Patrick and Kat relate to each other and learn to forgive and accept who they are, helping their romance blossom.
9. You’ve Got Mail (1998)
In the classic romance flick, You’ve Got Mail, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan star as Joe Fox and Kathleen Kennedy. Fox and Kennedy meet in an online chatroom under the names “NY 152” and “Shopgirl,” respectively. A romance starts blossoming online despite the two never meeting in person. At least, that’s what they think.
In real life, Fox and Kennedy are bitter business rivals. Fox’s family owns a chain of mega bookstores attempting to put independent owners like Kennedy and her bookstore, The Shop Around The Corner, out of business. It’s not until they get to know the real person behind the keyboard that they finally uncover the truth about each other. Their connection online eventually brings them together in real life where sparks fly.
10. The Proposal (2009)
Canadian Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) is living her dream as the executive editor-in-chief of a New York book publishing firm. Her ambition, demanding personality, and pushy attitude make her assistant Andrew Paxton’s (Ryan Reynolds) life a living nightmare.
After her green card renewal’s denied, Tate faces deportation back to Canada. She blackmails Paxton into marrying her so that she can maintain her lifestyle. While they create an elaborate proposal story, they grow closer and discover new things about their lives and personalities. They soon realize they have feelings for each other, culminating in an epic proposal.
11. Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
In Sweet Home Alabama, Melanie Smooter (Reese Witherspoon) returns to her hometown to get a divorce from her childhood sweetheart, Jake Perry (Josh Lucas). Smooter’s a big shot in New York City and is about to marry the son of the Mayor. Since she reinvented herself in New York, Smooter clashes with Perry when they reconnect.
There are still bitter feelings about the way Smooter left when they first married. In this story, the two go from lovers to enemies and back to lovers again. Embracing who she really is, Smooter falls back in love with Perry and her Southern roots.
12. Life As We Know It (2010)
When Holly Berenson and Eric Messer’s best friends set them up on a blind date, it goes terribly wrong. They loathe one another and plan on avoiding one another forever. Tragically Berenson and Messer’s best friends tragically die in a car accident, leaving the bitter enemies as the legal guardians of their daughter Sophie.
In Life As We Know It, Berenson and Messer try to put their differences, bitter feelings, and annoyance of each other aside for Sophie’s sake. As they learn to co-parent, the two see another side to each other. After a few more obstacles, they become a family with Sophie.
13. The Ugly Truth
TV host Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler) is pessimistic when it comes to dating. Despite his bleak outlook on relationships, his advice usually works. Regardless, morning show producer and hopeless romantic Abby Richter (Katherine Heigl) finds Chadway infuriating. She can’t stand being in the same room as him, let alone working alongside him.
Richter agrees to take Chadway’s advice when she meets the man of her dreams. If the advice works, Chadway will work with him peacefully, but if it doesn’t, then he has to hit the bricks.
Butler and Heigl are fantastic, with The Ugly Truth revealing that true love involves honesty and openness. Richter and Chadway learn to be with the person who likes and accepts them for who they are.