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Julia Roberts throws herself a private gathering at ‘Eat Pray Love’ party

By Roger Friedman Julia Roberts went on a spiritual journey for the movie,”Eat Pray Love.” The journey ended at the swanky Metropolitan Club on Fifth Avenue last night where Columbia Pictures threw an invite only lavish after party for Roberts, director Ryan Murphy, the cast and miscellaneous celebrities.

And what did Julia learn from finding herself and communing with swami’s and gurus? While the guests partied downstairs in the famous club, Roberts threw herself a private gathering upstairs, in a room blocked by bodyguards.

She took the whole cast hostage, as well as Julian Schnabel, Josh Brolin (who brought his 16 year old stepdaughter Eleanor–Diane Lane’s daughter with Christopher Lambert), and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam.

Call it “Eat Pray Love Hide.”

It was quite a scene watching various people trying to get past the guards and into the room. Former New York Times movie reviewer Elvis Mitchell was turned away, but eventually gained entry. Two young women had to send someone in to find actor co-star Billy Crudup, who finally came out to say hello. The movie’s main producer left his family outside the party and kept running in and out to be with them.

The most glaring snub: Elizabeth Gilbert, the best selling author of “Eat Pray Love” was left way downstairs and far away from Roberts’ soiree, with her own guests.

Roberts did spend about five minutes in the main party room. But as she and her posse–including husband Danny Moder–were hurried out and away from the dreadful real people, Roberts said, to no one in particular, “That’s so tacky.” A lot of the real people heard her say it.

Vedder and Brolin hung out l0ngest in the main room, and each were funny and polite. Bardem and Schnabel would have stuck around longer, but they were summoned by publicists who arrived with Roberts’ invitation. Gilbert was totally excluded.

I tried in vain to find Jennifer Salt, daughter of the late legendary screenwriter Waldo Salt. Jennifer, who once starred on “Soap” as Eunice Tate, is herself a fine scripter who faithfully adapted “Eat Pray Love” from Gilbert’s memoir.

But I did run into director Ryan Murphy, now famous for TV shows “Glee” and “Nip/Tuck.” Ryan used to write for me in the 1980s at Fame magazine, and wrote a column for US Weekly. He authored the famous Entertainment Weekly interview with Alec Baldwin in which Baldwin called Jeffrey Katzenberg “the eighth dwarf.” His Hollywood ascent is a great success story!

The only members of the “Eat Pray Love” gang not in attendance were Viola Davis and James Franco.

There was a heavy turnout from CAA for Roberts and Murphy–both Kevin Huvane and Richard Lovett.

Sony/Columbia is counting on the “Eat Love Pray” readers turning out at the box office. The studio is on the upswing right now with Will Ferrell’s big hit “The Other Guys” and “Salt,” “Grown Ups,” and “The Karate Kid.” It’s been a hell of a year so far.

But “EPL” definitely cost a lot. With Roberts’ salary and the locations in Italy, Bali, and India, this is a $100 million movie. Gilbert told me she loved the adaptation. It’s more than likely that the book’s readers will, too.

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One Comment

  • August 11, 2010 | Permalink |

    If there’s anything that’s tacky it’s Julia’s Pez Dispenser head and profoundly repulsive ugliness. god knows what she can suck through a hose, but I think it has a lot to do with her being anywhere near Hollywood, or she has lots of goods on people.

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