The novel is set in London. The movie changed it to New York to connect with an American audience. Following the success of Sex and the City (1998), New York was seen as a selling point to female audiences.
Kristin Scott Thomas revealed in 2014 that she didn't like the experience of filming. "I thought it would be quite good fun. But I spent my entire time waiting. I hated it, hated it, hated it, and I said that I wouldn't do another one. Funnily enough, I haven't been asked to."
This was Jerry Bruckheimer's first full-fledged romantic comedy production, all his other productions were primarily action/adventure based, and his sixth production to have a female lead after Cat People (1982), Flashdance (1983), Dangerous Minds (1995), Coyote Ugly (2000), and Veronica Guerin (2003).
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
At the end, Rebecca pays off her entire debt in coins, saying that she was doing it in the most inconvenient way possible. In real life, Mr. Smeath could have refused to accept it. While coins are legal tender within the Federal Reserve System, no law requires a merchant or anyone else to accept them. However, if he had refused payment, the debt would legally be considered paid off.