Author John O'Brien, on whose novel this movie is based, committed suicide two weeks after the movie went into production. Director Mike Figgis contemplated abandoning the project, but decided the film would make a good memorial for O'Brien.
Ben doesn't eat a single thing during the entire film. This reinforces his dependence on alcohol as chronic alcoholics usually forget to eat or can't force food down. During the restaurant scene he puts spaghetti on his fork but doesn't eat it. And when Sera fixes him rice, he eats an ice cube instead.
A well known drink manufacturer objected to a man drinking himself to death so every shot that had a bottle of their product clearly visible the negative was electronically changed to mask the label on the bottle.
In one scene near the start of the film set in a Los Angeles restaurant, two film producers (maybe agents) are having dinner with two actresses. One of the actresses, played by Emily Procter, says "I think the nicest thing about the film actually is that we get to handle guns, and I had never done that before". Years later, she would portrays a ballistics expert on CSI: Miami (2002).
All of the solo scenes of Elisabeth Shue's character, Sera, speaking either to herself, an unindentified person or possibly a therapist (the film doesn't specify) are actually Shue's wardrobe, hair and make-up tests that were shot prior to production. Director Mike Figgis utilised them during the edit because he felt they strengthened the narrative of the film, against the initial wishes of the producers. This means that Shue is potentially the only actress ever to be Oscar-nominated for her wardrobe tests.
During Cage's Oscar acceptance speech for Best Leading Actor role in the film, he thanked his "gorgeous wife" Patricia Arquette whom he married just a year prior to the ceremony. The two finalized their divorce in 2001.
With reference to the electronic label changing on the drink bottles only the 35 mm blow up internegative and interposative had the changes cut in to them The Super 16mm original negative was never re cut.