In a way, that idea’s already been proven:
How many real-life Hollywood couples, from Lea Michele and Cory Monteith to Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield, played boyfriend-and-girlfriend before actually becoming them?
(It might not last forever, though – remember Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz, etc.)
Then of course, there are the countless movies where someone pretends to be crushing (for a variety of crazy reasons) on an unsuitable suitor, and real (albeit chaotic) romance follows.
The most recent example: The Hunger Games.
But it’s not the only one. Here are a few of our favorite faux-mances from the movies… Are we missing any good ones?
Drive Me Crazy (1999), in which Melissa Joan Hart and Adrian Grenier play the popular girl and the outcast, who pretend to be in love to make their respective exes jealous. They end up falling for each other – and starring in a Britney Spears music video! – instead.
She’s All That (1999) stars Rachel Leigh Cook as Lainey Boggs, a nerd who’s thrown together with varsity soccer god Freddie Prinze Jr. after his friends bet him money to turn “the school art freak” into prom queen.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999) retells Taming of the Shrew, with Heath Ledger trying to score Julia Stiles’ heart for a few hundred bucks. Naturally – yes – they end up in love… but not before he sings Frankie Valli and she flashes her soccer coach.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003) is the grown up version, where Kate Hudson plays a magazine editor who has to write a column on how to scare off a potential boyfriend. Meanwhile, her prey (Matthew McConaughey) refuses to dump her, because he’s been instructed by his boss to make a woman fall in love with him. The time frame for both of them? 10 Days. Disaster (and a really pretty yellow dress) ensues.
Can’t Buy Me Love (1987) stars Patrick Dempsey as a geek desperate to be popular. When she ruins her mom’s suede jacket and needs to buy a replacement, he uses his telescope money to help her out – as long as she pretends to date him, and help his social standing. There was a remake of this – Love Don’t Cost a Thing – but the original is too good to duplicate.
See also: Pretty Woman.