Dating the Enemy (1996) Poster

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Textbook comedy
mug8813 December 1998
In this punchy ideal valentines day movie, "Dating The Enemy" is funny and charming. Set in Sydney, this picture unmasks the conflicts between a couple with nothing in common. Brett is the host of a hip music show. He is about to have an oppotunity to work in New York, but his romance with his girlfriend, Tash is under deep scrutiny. Tash is a scientific writer for the Australian. After a serious argument on the first anniversary of their relationship, Tash wishes they could swap bodies so that she could show how creepy he has become in the past year. Overnight, her wish comes true. The changes are absolutely hysterical as the couple discovers what being the other sex is really like. Claudia Karvan (Never Tell Me Never, The Heartbreak Kid) is brillant as Tash. Her performance of the innocent and nervous science journalist is excellent and fun to watch. Karvan's interpretation of Brett should be highly commented. Guy Pearce's performance of Brett is also dazzling. He would be fit for a woman if he acts like that in real life! Lisa Hensley is bright as Tash's best friend Laetitia; and Matt Day is great as Tob, the secret admirer of Tash. The Aussies have achieved great chemistry among the characters. The writer/Director- Megan Simpson Huberman has written a glorious screenplay suitable for an Australian audience. Her direction is also stunning. It is overall an enjoyable picture to leave you in stitches. (Well, I have watched it like 20 times!!!)
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Original, light-hearted comedy
missyoda0517 May 2007
With an original plot and humorous story Dating the Enemy is a romantic comedy with a feel-good nature that will lighten your heart. Do opposites really attract? As a couple struggle with their relationship and mysteriously swap bodies they learn what its like for the other. The film devotes itself to unique differences between the couple and men and women in general. Megan Simpson Huberman captures the comical side of each situation with great precision. She encourages the viewer to have emotions for each circumstance. A thought provoking and witty film that will have you laughing from start to finish. It may even leave you feeling grateful you are the sex you are.
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Yet another switching bodies movie...but a good one!
ethereal_tb22 February 2004
I first saw "Dating the Enemy" at a film festival 4 years ago that was showing Aussie films that had never been released in the US. I must admit, I rolled my eyes when I first heard the plot of "Dating the Enemy" but decided it was worth a look to see Guy Pearce in something else besides "Priscilla" and "L.A. Confidential" which were the only films I'd seen him in at the time.

Imagine my surprise at this films funny, clever and original way of examining the strangeness/complexity of relationships between men and women in this modern world. Yes, the plot device of how/why they switch bodies is a bit clumsy, but that can be forgiven, because once this film gets into full swing, it's a hilarious romp and the best by far "body switching" movie I've ever seen. It goes places where a Hollywood movie would never go. I think my fav scene by far is Brett as Tash having sex with his friend and finding out how BAD men can be in bed! Oh, and getting his period....!! As a woman audience member, you can't help saying, "Ah, HA!! See?!" What I also love about this movie, is that the changes that both characters go through are more convincing and realistic than in any other "body switching" movie I've seen. It is especially nice to see Tash come out of her shell after having lived Brett's life. This movie goes beyond the plot gimic in many of these ways. I wait impatiently for it to be released on VHS or DVD here in the US.

I can't go without commenting on the actors. This is the most charming and ironically NORMAL character I've ever seen Guy Pearce play, and I'd love to see him do more parts like this. Also, I instantly became a huge fan of Claudia Karvan. I selfishly wish she were in more projects that come stateside, because I'd love to see more of her. Hopefully she won't be cut out of the Star Wars movie again! :)

In short, in spite of some of the minor problems with this film, it is a wonderful film overall, and if you can overlook it's faults, you will fully enjoy it.
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Through each other's eyes.
zig-zag5 May 2005
It is a rare slice of genius when a production sails by on bubbly Bringing Up Baby style wit and humour, then three days later awakens you to a beautifully simple solution to the oldest struggle of mankind, male vs female.

More than just an evening's entertainment, this film could save troubled marriages by more than just its romantic tones and ending. It can achieve it's goal by setting the realistic co-operation example that it does.

Little wonder the screenplay works as well as it does with Linda Seger as consultant.

At the core of its charm is the fact that the two leads had to work and watch each other throughout the rehearsal process, then successfully emulate each other during filming stimulating recognition in the audience, something strongly identified in all successful Australian films.

That's why in the public screenings I saw, the pencil in the hair always drew powerful laughter.

Zig Zag
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An Aussie view on an Aussie film
muchly_wandy19 April 2002
I really liked this film. It is an example of how the Australian film industry is growing. The actors have gone far since this movie, and I believe that this film helped them. I find it actually amazing that Americans have heard of it! Anyways, I really liked it. I have seen it a few times and find new funny bits every time I see it. My favourite scene is where Brett (in Tash's body) just discovers the change. He (she) suddenly thinks of his bits and, although he (she) is now a female, still thinks he (she) will have a penis.
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Clever switch
Bede1 December 1998
Ten minutes into this one, and I had had enough. Half an hour in, my wife and I were in stitches. The joke - it is a one-joke film, and so what - is that somehow, magically, the two estranged lovers exchange bodies. Each has to cope with the other's job and the demands on the opposite sex, and, of course, each develops a new understanding and appreciation of the other. There are predictable situations (his first experience of PMT, her first erection, their first sexual experiences in their new bodies, difficulties with how to treat work colleagues), but they are funny, and exceptionally well acted. Guy Pearce ("LA Confidential") as a woman with a man's body, minces as he did in "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", and his opposite number, Claudia Karvan, catches assertive male body language beautifully. At times, the joke seems a little over-extended, but it is good-hearted and good fun.
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Switching the bodies... This movie is "a must see" about women and men
takmaz17 October 1999
I watched it 2 times in the Tv. But it didnt loose anything from its amuzement. Brett and tacha fall in love at the first sight, but they were completely different in their livings. After a quarrel, tacha wished brett to be her, so he could see "how dump was he". After that they found theirselves in eachothers bodies. The performance of are marvelous. The mannish acts of brett in tacha's body are marvelous. they make you think brett is a real woman and tacha is a real man.

after the film you found yourself smiling warmly.

A must see about women and men.
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What seems at first like a childishly simple script... is actually a work of quiet genius!
dawgang18 May 2002
Yes, the screenplay and direction are of a high-school stageplay standard. The dialogue is simple, predictable and purely functional. The plot is VERY old and the direction is ultimately - loose and carefree. But upon close observation, this film harkens back to the days of classic romance comedy (Send Me No Flowers, Man's Favourite Sport - Doris Day / Rock Hudson et al). The script is actually brilliantly simple. The characters are cardboard cutouts in an easy-to-swallow LITE story. Megan Huberman is obviously a VERY technically experienced film-maker. The lighting, photography and sound are all VERY SUPERB and proffesional! This does show up the flimsy script. But once again, it's the simplicity and childlike innocence that is this film's brilliance. If you like the romance comedies of the 50's that they don't make anymore... rent this! I kid you not, folks... it's a sweet, fun film. Enjoy!
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I laughed through my candy floss
mungo-820 February 2001
This is a terribly hackneyed plot. All about the stereotypes of men and women and how we are supposed to interact. But I laughed frequently and out loud and I suppose that's what a comedy film is supposed to make you do. I enjoyed the playing of the actors who brought life and humour to a sometimes rather corny script. They brought out the full farce of their acting one might say!

The first twenty minutes, whilst the plot establishes itself, are a bit of a chore but thereafter the silliness takes over and I chortled away as predictably absurd scenes were unravelled.

Disappointing homophobic line about men and women being the natural (and implicitly, only) form of coupling for human beings, which seemed at odds with the rest of a fresh, healthy skip through sexual norms but alas every script writer has a bad day.

I grew up on that staple of british cinema the 'Carry On's and this is kind of doing a similar thing. Don't expect it to change your life, just entertain you for 90 minutes.
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watch it once, at least
alvink19 March 2005
i always check this movie out when it comes around on the cable. it's not a great movie, but it has some great, great acting in it- i.e, guy pierce and claudia karvan taking on opposite-sex roles, and just ¡¡STYLIN'!!

they could have gone 'over the top', prancing and mincing about, just looking for laughs, but no! they show that they are Observant Actors, perfecting their craft as they go.

the big sex jokes are the big sex jokes, and hooray for them: guy/claudia getting 'her' first period, clau/guy getting 'his' first bj, yeah, yeah, yeah, but those are just the tip of the iceberg. the real fun begins while watching them in every-day-type situations.

the scene of them sitting together on the couch is what i'm talking about here. their body language is subtly perfect- guy/her is completely to the inside, knees together, all hand gestures toward herself, sitting straight, while claudia/him is completely male-expansive as a 'male' in her/his actions.

the Movie is medium, to be sure, but the Acting of the two principals is worth the price of the rental, if not the ownership.

if you're not a 'touch of evil/citizen kane' type movie snob, and you'd like to see two young actors really doing great stuff, try this one out. guy and claudia are really superb in this one.
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"If you liked 'Freaky Friday' you'd like this film"
simon-trek11 April 2004
I recently saw 'Freaky Friday' (the 2003 remake) and I loved it. It was so funny seeing a teenage daughter and mother who swap bodies, as the result of a

magic spell, it was just so hilarious!

Shortly after I'd seen this film I talked about it to a friend who told me about the film 'Dating The Enemy' so I decided that I should see this film. The film is like 'Freaky Friday' only it's not a mother and daughter switching bodies, it's about a young man and woman switching bodies. The film was both quite hilarious and

quite touching. It was hilarious because of the way the two people had to adapt to a life in each others bodies and it was touching because the way the couple of them finally resolved their disputes and fell in love. So this film is a great romantic comedy.
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Not so good
Jalex_fi15 July 2004
I can say that this movie has only one thing worth of, and it is that we can really see how pressures for each sex about fashion, marriage and commitment are seen and confronted.

As a movie of this kind I try to see if the "switch" situation really is "believeable". One thing I can't believe is that Brett in Tash's body is amazingly handling this situation, he wears makeup as an expert, also no problems using skirts neither problems with high heels. I can really tell that the most convincing ever done role of this type was performed by Scott Bakula's Quantum Leap (What price Gloria?).

So it's just a movie for having a good time.
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she now works for the government
impressions7028 October 2005
Ever wonder what's wrong with Australian cinema?

This writer/director now works for the government bureaucratic churn mill, making decisions based on base and formulaic aesthetic -- it's clear from watching this piece of uninspiring rubbish that arbitrary structure and plot are more important to her than the things which really make for compelling cinema.

The performances (thanks to Guy Pearce) are not completely awful -- although the script (taken directly to the slightly better but still average "Switch") is parochial in its sensibility with expositional dialog, uncinematic treatment of space and temporal reality and a trite sense of resolution.

Better still, has anybody outside the Australian film industry ever heard of this dreary number?
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Great scene, bad script
Ms H8 February 1999
Yes, we've all seen hundreds of the gender/role/switching,type movies. eg. Freaky Friday, Like Father Like Son, Wish Upon A Star, Switch etc.. and they are all incredibly corny, but there were a couple of scenes in this movie that made me laugh out loud (and that is pretty unusual). One memorable moment: Guy Pierce in Claudia Karvan's body - experiencing his(her) first menstruation. I wish there were more scenes like this one in the movie. Would have made it a passable film.
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Extremely Bad Movie. Too Stereotypical
the-evil-cult2 January 2004
Dating the Enemy does not represent how characters really behave. Instead it illustrates how males and females should behave if they are to conform to mainstream perceptions of maleness and femaleness. This movie is merely a package of every single lowly gender stereotype floating around among those who don't want to explore the real complexity of humanity, those who prefer to classify everything into simple categories.

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Boring, been done, pointless.
Rumples23 May 1999
This movie is listed as a comedy but isn't funny. It is described as charming but isn't. Called witty it is brainless and unoriginal. Not a lot to praise in this movie - I'd give it a wide berth unless you're the type to enjoy seeing Guy Pierce's chest and/or you don't require even a hint of intelligence or originality in a movie.
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Predictable but tolerable
wiggle-24 December 2000
Too formulaic to ever be a classic. How many gender/body swap movies have we seen before this one? The only interest is in seeing Guy Pearce and Claudia Karvan ham it up superbly, it must have been fun to make, even with such a predictable premise.
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