Enemies-to-Lovers: 17 Great Movies Like The Hating Game

by John Griffith

As a self-proclaimed movie buff with an insatiable appetite for films, I often joke that if I could watch movies for a living, I’d have found my true calling. While my taste in cinema spans a wide array of genres, there’s one particular trope that absolutely captivates me every time: enemies-to-lovers. There’s something about watching two characters evolve from disdain to deep affection that gets me hooked. Recently, after watching “The Hating Game,” I found myself craving more of this delicious narrative dynamic. It led me on a quest to curate a list of some of the best enemies-to-lovers movies. All of which come highly recommended by IMDb and hold a special place in my cinematic heart. So, here are some movies like “The Hating Game”.

“The Hating Game” turned bickering into an art form

movies like the hating game the hating game poster

What is The Hating Game?

“The Hating Game” is a delightful rom-com that dives into the love-hate relationship between Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman. Their journey from workplace rivals to romantic interests is filled with witty banter, pranks, and, unexpectedly, heartfelt moments. It’s a perfect example of how antagonism can blossom into attraction, making it a quintessential enemies-to-lovers story.

Where office battles are just foreplay to romance

Movies Like The Hating Game

The enemies-to-lovers plot isn’t new, but its execution can be as varied as the spectrum of human emotion. From classic literature adaptations to modern rom-coms, like “The Perks of Being a Wallflower“, this trope has proven to be a goldmine for storytelling. Here’s a list of some movies that capture the essence of this dynamic with as much charm and wit as “The Hating Game,” approved both by IMDB and Letterboxd!

Craving more love stories born from rivalry?

the hating game poster for movie

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen star as the quintessential enemies-to-lovers pair, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Directed by Joe Wright, this adaptation breathes life into Jane Austen’s classic novel, where misunderstandings and societal pressures give way to one of literature’s most celebrated romances.

Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy: proving that true love starts with a good argument

pride and prejudice poster

You’ve Got Mail! (1998)

In this modern classic directed by Nora Ephron, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan play rival bookstore owners Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly. Their real-world animosity stands in stark contrast to the anonymous online romance they unknowingly develop, showcasing the complexities of love in the digital age.

When online flirting is the best revenge against your business rival

you've got mail movie poster

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

This high school set retelling of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” features Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles as Patrick Verona and Kat Stratford. Directed by Gil Junger, it’s a story of how a plan to win over a girl evolves into genuine love, making it a beloved enemies-to-lovers tale.

High school + Shakespeare = the ultimate love/hate equation

movies like the hating game 10 things i hate about you poster

Zootopia (2016)

Voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman, Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde navigate their initial mistrust to solve a mystery in this animated hit. Directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore craft a vibrant world where opposites attract and unlikely partnerships can lead to lasting bonds.

A bunny and a fox solving crimes and breaking hearts

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Anyone But You (2023)

In this captivating addition to the enemies-to-lovers genre, Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell bring to life the characters of Bea and Ben, whose promising initial connection takes a turn for the worse after a seemingly perfect first date. Directed by Will Gluck, the film unfolds as Bea and Ben unexpectedly reunite at a destination wedding in Australia.

Nothing says true love like pretending to be a couple

movies like the hating game anyone but you movie poster

The Ugly Truth (2009)

Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler star as Abby Richter and Mike Chadway, whose differing views on relationships lead to comedic and unexpected outcomes. Directed by Robert Luketic, it’s a battle of the sexes that questions whether opposites really do attract.

Love is only a debate away

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Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

Sharon Maguire’s adaptation stars Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant in a modern-day love triangle that’s as comedic as it is heartfelt. Through miscommunications and evolving affections, Bridget navigates her way toward true love.

A diary entry away from figuring out love… eventually

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How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey’s characters engage in a battle of wills that unexpectedly steers them toward romance. Directed by Donald Petrie, this film exemplifies the fine line between love and hate.

The love bet you didn’t see coming

how to lose a guy in 10 days

The Sound of Music (1965)

This musical, directed by Robert Wise and starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, transcends the enemies-to-lovers trope against the backdrop of World War II Austria, proving that love can emerge in the most challenging circumstances.

Where do-re-mi meets doe-eyed romance

the sound of music movie poster

The Proposal (2009)

Anne Fletcher directs Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds in a story about a demanding boss and her assistant who enter a faux engagement that leads to real feelings, blending humor with moments of genuine connection.

Fake engagements: surprisingly effective at finding true love

movies like the hating game the proposal movie poster

Flipped (2010)

Directed by Rob Reiner, this film tells the story of Juli Baker and Bryce Loski, played by Madeline Carroll and Callan McAuliffe. Childhood antagonism gives way to mutual respect and affection, capturing the nuances of first love.

Childhood enemies flipping into teenage sweethearts

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Princess and The Frog (2009)

Set in New Orleans and directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, this animated film follows Tiana and Prince Naveen. They pursue their dreams. Their journey from disdain to love is as magical as the setting itself.

Frog kisses: the unexpected start to royal romance

princess and the frog poster

Singin’ in The Rain (1952)

Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds illuminate the screen in this iconic musical. Directed by Kelly and Stanley Donen, it unfolds a story. Hollywood’s transition from silent films to talkies occurs. Career conflicts serve as the backdrop for romance.

Hollywood + Rain = Unexpected Romance

singing in the rain movie poster

Red, White & Royal Blue (2023)

Nicholas Galitzine and Taylor Zakhar Perez star as Prince Henry and Alex Claremont-Diaz in this movie based on the book of the same name. Set against a backdrop of international diplomacy and royal traditions, the film explores the clandestine romance between Alex, the first son of the United States, and Prince Henry, a young British royal.

International relations, but make it romantic

movies like the hating game red white and royal blue

Purple Hearts (2022)

In this touching narrative directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum, Sofia Carson and Nicholas Galitzine portray Cassie Salazar and Luke Morrow. They are respectively a singer and a soldier. They enter a marriage of convenience. Against all odds, it blossoms into genuine love.

When a marriage of convenience becomes inconveniently romantic

purple hearts movie poster

La La Land (2016)

Damien Chazelle directs Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in their roles. They are Mia Dolan and Sebastian Wilder, two Los Angeles-based artists chasing their dreams. Set in the City of Stars, their initial misund erstandings and conflicting aspirations evolve. They give way to a tender and supportive partnership. This critically acclaimed film beautifully captures. It encompasses the essence of ambition, partnership, and the sacrifices made in the pursuit of love and dreams.

Dreams and love on a collision course in LA

movies like the hating game la la land poster

After diving into these films, a clear realization emerges. The enemies-to-lovers trope resonates deeply. It reflects a fundamental truth about love. It’s complicated, surprising, and often emerges from the least expected places. These movies, akin to “The Hating Game,” illustrate. They showcase the transformative power of understanding, compassion, and shared experiences. Such elements turn animosity into affection. Whether set against the backdrop of corporate rivalry, the cobblestone streets of a bygone era, or the glitzy chaos of Hollywood, the stories unfold. Love often hides in the spaces between disagreements and differences.

Love thrives in the space between disagreements

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John Griffith

John Griffith is a young, passionate journalist. Writing has been John’s hobby ever since he was a boy. He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful news portals over the course of his professional career but found his forever home at Archzine.