Summer Movies Put Sunglasses In The Spotlight

A pair of sleek cat-eye sunglasses appears just briefly on the beautiful face of actress Julia Roberts in "My Best Friend's Wedding."

But that was enough.

The film's production company was besieged by callers who just had to have them.

Product-placement planners dream about this kind of publicity. Problem was no one was ready for this raging desire for those sunglasses. The prop department didn't know anything about them.

These were not Julia's main frames in the movie, mind you -- she wore them in only two scenes.

As it turns out, they were the personal property of the leading lady. But after being worn in the movie, Roberts lost them. Worse yet, she didn't remember the brand name.

So a still photo of Roberts wearing the sleek shades was pulled and the national quest for a perfect match was launched.

Last week Roberts' elusive eyeglasses were officially identified as Paul Smith-206s.

For $235, you, too, can have them. Good luck finding a pair, however. At most fine eyeglass shops, they are on back order.

Roberts' sharp-looking shades are just the tip of this summer's on-screen optical iceberg.

Consider the role of the Predator2 black wraparound sunglasses in the sci-fi comedy "Men in Black." Not only do these glasses by Ray-Ban look great on dark-suited stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, they protect the heroes' eyes from memory-erasing neuralyzers.

Next on the list of captivating movie shades are the perky pewter Madison frames worn by Sandra Bullock in "Speed 2." Finished with sky-blue lenses, the Oliver Peoples design complements Bullock's true-blue character. Like Julia Roberts' glasses, these $245 spectacles were the actress' personal shades.

Then there are the sunglass subtitles put forth in the movie "Face/Off." The frames worn by the identity-swapping John Travolta and Nicolas Cage in this suspense film play a minor role in providing a way to tell their characters apart.

When Travolta is the good guy, he wears a pair of conservative Miraris. As the bad guy, he switches to a chic pair of Armanis ($208). Meanwhile, Nicolas Cage alternates between villainous blood-red antique octagonals and righteous Ray-Ban Aviators ($60).

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