Eat Pray Love writer reponds to Italian critics

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Julia Roberts' movie Eat Pray Love has been branded "kitsch" and full of cliches by Italians upset at their portrayal, but the woman behind the story has defended the film.

"It's an American's dream of Italy," Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote the bestselling book of the same name, said.

The author added: "Of course it's not going to look like what a Roman thinks of Italy and it shouldn't because it's the impressions of a young woman."

The movie follows Gilbert, played by Julia Roberts, who embarks on a journey around the world, taking in Italy, India and Bali.

Gilbert reckons the Italian critics who do not like the movie have plenty of other great portraits of their country on the big screen to choose from.

"I think they'll survive. They have enough of their own cinema. If they wanted to picture Rome they can just watch old Fellini movies," she said.