Julia Roberts invited her friend Garry Marshall to direct the film, but Marshall declined because he was unwilling to travel outside America to the locations where the film takes place. However, during the meet Marshall offered Roberts a role in Valentine's Day (2010) (on which he was working), which she accepted. This, in turn, allowed Ryan Murphy to step in as director.
Rome's two professional soccer teams, SS Lazio and AS Roma, are fierce rivals. In Elizabeth Gilbert's original novel, Mr Spaghetti was an SS Lazio fan. The filmmakers made him an AS Roma fan, enraging local SS Lazio fans.
A casting associate saw Joe Lipari do a set about teaching yoga at Gotham Comedy Club and asked if he'd be interested in being involved in the movie's yoga scenes. The scenes were cut from the final film.
Richard Jenkins claimed that the real 'Richard' did not have a thick accent, but Jenkins figured it would be distracting for the audience if a character named 'Richard from Texas' didn't speak in a Texas accent.