People: Allen defends film's depiction of Italy

From left, actor Roberto Benigni, director and actor Woody Allen, and actress Penelope Cruz pose during the photo call of the movie 'To Rome with Love', in Rome.

Photo by Associated Press

From left, actor Roberto Benigni, director and actor Woody Allen, and actress Penelope Cruz pose during the photo call of the movie "To Rome with Love", in Rome.

Woody Allen brought "To Rome with Love" to the city that inspired his latest film, but some homegrown critics are grumbling that the American director's new work is loaded with old-fashioned Italian stereotypes.

At a news conference Friday in Rome, Allen exuded a fuzzy, love-struck view of the country.

"(Americans) have an enormously affectionate feeling about Italy," he said. "They think of Italy as a country that is enormously warm . ... It's a very easygoing place to live, a place that enjoys life and that stands for everything positive about life."

That sunny assessment of their country, which is now enduring tough economic austerity measures, sparked objections from some Italian journalists. One contended the film was "superficial."

Allen responded by saying his sole intention was making an entertaining movie set in Rome.

"When I come to a place to make a movie, I give you my own impression of it, the things that strike me as dramatic or comic, that would be fun to see," he said. "I have no great insights at all into Italian politics, Italian culture."

Jolie, Pitt finally engaged

After several years as a couple, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are engaged.

Pitt's manager confirmed the news Friday in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Cynthia Pett-Dante said there is no wedding date "at this time." She also said that the engagement "is a promise for the future."

Pitt and Jolie have three adopted children and three biological children.

Another son for Mindy

Mindy McCready is a mother for a second time.

McCready and boyfriend David Wilson welcomed their son Zayne on Monday. In a statement, McCready called the boy "a blessing and a joy."

The country singer and former "Celebrity Rehab" star says it was "a long and trying" pregnancy. The statement said McCready would not be doing interviews because of a court directive in the custody case over her first son, Zander.

McCready took Zander from her mother, the boy's legal guardian, late last year. She fled to Arkansas without permission over what she called child abuse fears. Authorities eventually found McCready and Wilson and took the boy into custody.

Cohen's ex-manager convicted

A jury convicted Leonard Cohen's former business manager Thursday of harassing the singer-songwriter and repeatedly violating a court order to stop contacting him.

The panel reached its verdict within hours of receiving the case that featured Cohen testifying that the tone of Kelley Lynch's e-mails and calls left him annoyed and at times scared.

-- From Our Press Services

Today's birthdays

Country singer Loretta Lynn, 80; actress Julie Christie, 72; guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, 67; actor Robert Carlyle, 51; singer-guitarist John Bell of Widespread Panic, 50; actor Anthony Michael Hall, 44; actor Adrien Brody, 39; rapper Da Brat, 38; actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, 35; actor Nick Krause ("The Descendants"), 20; actress Abigail Breslin, 16.

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