• Imagining that a teen sex comedy about a good-hearted teenager who's dying of cancer, and whose formal final wish is a night of bliss with a supermodel, could be funny and touching instead of creepy and wrong
• Ratcheting up the sentimentality with a subplot about the protagonist's dead father, and another about the supermodel's longing for her long-lost high-school sweetheart
• Wasting a fine lead performance by Michael Angarano that makes the film more convincing than it has any right to be
Defender: Director Alex Steyermark
Tone of commentary: Alternately heartfelt and dryly technical. Steyermark (whose father battled cancer while the film was being made) spends a lot of time specifying where scenes were shot and what minor difficulties the cast and crew encountered. Screenwriter Barry Stringfellow based the screenplay partially on his own father's battle with cancer, and partially on a Make-A-Wish candidate whose final wish was to shoot a bear.
What went wrong: Not much. The budget was too small and the shooting schedule too tight. (Do filmmakers ever complain about budgets being too big and shooting schedules being too long?) But otherwise, Steyermark nurses few regrets.
Comments on the cast: Steyermark heaps praise on all his actors, especially Angarano, and says the tension the cast generated during the first scene between Angarano and his supermodel crush Sunny Mabrey reminded him of Henrik Ibsen. He dubs bit player Wyclef Jean "one of the most charismatic and spiritual" performers he'd ever met. (At least he isn't talking about Pras.)
Inevitable dash of pretension: Steyermark says that when Angarano and his buddies head to New York, the film becomes a "fable"—he sees something chivalrous in Angarano's earnest quest to bang a supermodel before shuffling off this mortal coil.
Commentary in a nutshell: "This wine bottle gave us so many problems," Steyermark reveals in a typically riveting bit of production info.