Thanks to a comment over on the Amanda Peterson story, I discovered this.
Many of the cast members along with the writer of CAN'T BUY ME LOVE (minus the director, Patrick Dempsey, Amanda Peterson and Seth Green) had a screening and Q&A about the film at the NuArt Theatre in LA on February 11, 2011.
The 40 minute video posted above is EXCELLENT, even though the room is so dark you can't see who is talking.
Among the highlights of the conversation
- Writer Michael Swerdlick was working in the mailroom at William Morris when he was invited to a party with all the top agents. Because he had a model as his date, he was paid more attention to by the agents who suggested he write a script.
- He sold the script, then called BOY RENTS GIRL, to Tri-Star. In a meeting with the studio, a female exec hated it and put it into turnaround.
- He was asked to submit a writing sample to do a rewrite on a BMX film called WINNERS TAKE ALL (that starred CBML stars Gerardo Mieja and Courtney Gains). His agent sent over BOY RENTS GIRL. The production company said forget about rewriting WINNERS, lets make RENTS!
- The film was shot in Tucson for $1.8 million. It was a non-Union shoot, with picketers seen in the distance of some shots.
- After production, one of the friends of the filmmakers (who had appeared in a mall scene) had become the head of acquisitons at Disney. He suggested that Michael Eisner and Jeff Katzenberg take a look at the film.
- The writer asked if his family members could screen the film. They arranged a screening. Right before his family was to see the film, Eisner and Katzenberg entered the screening room. They laughed several times, but left before it was over.
- Disney then decided to buy the film for $6 million.
- They had some reshoots, only by the time of the reshoots, the lawns were dead. For the final scene, riding away on the mower, they had to spend $15,000 for a new lawn.
- It cost $125,000 to use the title song, and they had to show the film to the owner of the song, Michael Jackson. A print was taken to Neverland. Michael loved the film.
- Marisa Tomei was a favorite to play the female lead but that didn't work out. Uma Thurman also read for it.
- Marc Price, "Skippy" from FAMILY TIES was initially offered the lead. He was unhappy about his offer of $35,000. While they were waiting, they were told about Patrick Dempsey. After finding him, they were hoping that Price wouldn't sign. He didn't so Patrick was cast.
- Chuck Lorre (the creator of TWO AND A HALF MEN and THE BIG BANG THEORY) wrote one of the songs in the film.
- Choreographer Paula Abdul had trouble getting the cast to take things seriously.
- Gerardo "Rico Suave" Mieja, who according to the castmembers wasn't all that friendly during his Suave years, is now "a good guy again" and is a pastor in Orange County. Gerardo says he has little memory of the Suave years.
- And, Darcy DeMoss who acted as guardian to Amanda during her time in Hollywood in later years, had talked to Amanda a few days before. She had to go through four old numbers to find her, finally reaching her mom. She talked to Amanda who has a little girl who is in school so she couldn't make it to the reunion.