When does the movie take place?

One would assume about 4 years before the movie was released 😉

Seriously, though. The correct answer is the mid-1990’s. They had originally decided on the year 1996 but later deleted the references making it more vague.

“Flood” was released by Jars of Clay in late 1995 and “Twister” a popular movie from 1996 was supposed to be seen in the marquis of a movie theatre that Jamie and Landon walked by.

An early draft script had the story take place during the 1985-6 school year as indicated by the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger (Jan. 1986), the movie Ferris Buler’s Day Off, and numerous 80’s music references.

What is that red spot on Landon’s arm during the singing sequence in the play?

The red spot was supposed to be blood. The plot of the play had Landon’s character get shot in the arm prior to the scene for some unrevealed reason (we can assume that it has to do with his alcohol running). If you look closely you will see that he barely moves that arm the entire scene because it is supposed to be injured. There is not much blood because this is a PG rated movie.

In the script, Landon’s character was supposed to be mortally wounded and making a deathbed confession to God when Alicia (Jamie) walked in.

Is it just me or does the whole bikini in the “Virgin Mary” scene look fake?

You’ve either got sharp eyes or already knew the answer to this. The props used in the scene where Belinda and Landon’s other “friends” circulated a flier with Jamie’s face pasted on someone else’s body with the caption “Virgin Mary?” were indeed nudes. In post-production, a bikini was digitally drawn onto the one flier that we saw clearly to allow the movie to get a PG rating. If you watch closely, you can sort of see this on some of the other fliers, most notably the one that Eric (the black guy) has in his hand when he is laughing. [This is explained in the DVD audio commentary]