Among the massive trove of leaked e-mails that were released in 2014, after Sony's computer systems were hacked, were some that revealed that Sony executives were extremely critical of this movie's quality, and pessimistic about its box-office prospects long before it was filmed or released. In one of the e-mails, Amy Pascal (then the co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment) wrote that many aspects of the movie's characters and plot made "no sense. I'm never starting a movie again when the script is ridiculous, and we all know it. I don't care how much I love the director or the actors. It never, not even once, ever works. As much as I want movies (to release), this is way worse. At least the marketing departments at both studios have something to sell that looks big and glossy. We have this movie in for a lot of dough, and we better look at that. Scott Rudin didn't once go to the set. Or help us in the editing room. Or fix the script."
Received a great deal of criticism from audiences and reviewers who objected to the fact that although this movie is set in Hawaii, it depicts almost no Asian-American or Native-Hawaiian-descended characters, and the one main character, who is supposed to be of both Chinese and native Hawaiian descent, is played by a white actress, Emma Stone. The Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) released a statement saying, "Sixty percent of Hawaii's population is AAPIs. Caucasians only make up thirty percent of the population, but from watching this film, you'd think they made up ninety percent. This comes in a long line of films exploiting Hawaii for its exotic backdrop, but goes out of its way to exclude the very people who live there. It's an insult to the diverse culture and fabric of Hawaii." Asian-American and Native-Hawaiian Writers, such as Entertainment Weekly's Chris Lee, MSNBC's Janet Mock, and The Daily Beast's Jen Yamato, were among many who criticized the film's cultural appropriation, and pointed out the offensiveness of casting Stone in her role.
On June 2, 2015, Director Cameron Crowe apologized in a piece written for his blog "The Uncool" for what he described as an "odd or misguided casting choice", having Emma Stone playing a character whose father is half-Chinese and half-Hawaiian. He took full responsibility for the presentation of the character, after the film caused controversy and criticism for presenting whitewashed versions of Hawaii and its residents.
Was originally slated for wide theatrical release in France on September 2, 2015, but due to the film's poor commercial performance, the French branch of 20th Century Fox canceled the release, deciding instead to put the film on VOD platforms in January 2016. The film eventually premiered on the local version of Netflix on October 19, 2015.
Early on, Bradley Cooper tells Emma Stone an anecdote involving comic books. Both have played Marvel Comics characters. Cooper played Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017). Stone played Gwen Stacey in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014).
At the Christmas party, some of the Air Force personnel can be seen playing a game of "Crud" on the pool table. (A game often played by both Canadian and American Military personnel, where two teams throw the balls by hand at a "target" ball).