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Friday, June 30th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

It's so hard to keep up.

But the rule on cool for sunglasses is easy: Check out the movies.

In the early '80s, Ray-Ban had planned to phase out its Wayfarer style — the square, black-framed sunglasses it first made in 1952 - because of poor sales. Then John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd boogied with them in The Blues Brothers. And a young Tom Cruise fiddled around with them in Risky Business. Bam! Wayfarers soon sprung up like belly buttons at a Britney Spears concert.

There was a downside to Wayfarers: You couldn't wear them without some wiseacre goading you into lip-syncing Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll."

What the hey! Sunglasses are fun. In a bad-dude mood? Try the Men in Black look (Ray-Ban Predator 2). Practice saying "I'll be back" while wearing the Persol 58230, like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2.

When it comes to sunglasses, Jack Nicholson is As Good as It Gets (Serengeti Cruiser Combos). He seems to have some kind of weird relationship with his shades - sort of an obsessive-compulsive thing going on there. (Does he wear them to bed?)

This year, sunglasses once again have a prominent place on the silver screen and, specifically, on the noses of Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 2 and Samuel L. Jackson in Shaft.

Mr. Cruise is wearing Oakley. Mr. Jackson wears two types in his film: Oakley and Armani, according to Paramount executives. The Web site, has a feature on celebrities and sunglasses.

Can you dig it?