Why Julia Roberts' Face Won't be Enough to Sell Dogeared's Film-Inspired Jewelry

Last Updated Apr 8, 2010 5:18 PM EDT

Julia Roberts Eat, Pray, LoveThere's a memorable scene in the film Pretty Woman, in which the restless multi-millionaire Richard Gere offers Julia Roberts a ruby and diamond necklace -- but not before playfully snapping the lid of the box closed on her fingers. Roberts racked up millions at the box office for playing the hooker with the heart of gold, while the blingy bauble spawned a host of affordable knock-offs, some of which are still available today.

Can Julia Roberts set off such a trend all these years later? Dogeared Jewelry & Gifts is confident she can. So sure in fact that the Los Angeles based brand is rolling out an entire line of baubles inspired by Roberts' latest turn on the silver screen based on the bestselling book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert set to debut in August. I'm thinking it's going to be a bit of a tough sell.

First, because there is a book. And it doesn't exactly lend itself to bling. For those unfamiliar with the story, Gilbert chronicles her life post-divorce in which she shucks off the material trappings of corporate city life and sets out for Italy, India, and Bali, with an eye towards contemplative self-improvement. Gilbert learns the language of romance with a handsome Italian friend (and eats plenty of pasta and gelato), heaves her new-found heft into an Indian ashram (and loses weight during the grueling hours of meditation) and finally ventures to Bali where she embarks on a new love affair.

While wildly popular (there are over five million copies in print) the tale of Gilbert's journey to self awareness never detours into shopping the haute boutiques in Italy or even being swathed in silk saris studded with crystals in India. So it's hard to say what a Gilbert/Roberts inspired set of jewels will look like.

Second, Dogeared's already signed a deal with HBO to create a line of bling for the new Sex and the City 2 film which is due out in May. SATC's fab four front gals -- most notably Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw -- change baubles as frequently as they refresh their drinks and purchase new stilettos. So a jewelry line makes perfect sense.

In fact, the Dogeared charms feature one sharp high heel and a martini glass, among others. These items will be backed by cards splashed with signature sayings from the gals. Rabid fans of SATC shot shoe designer Manolo Blahnik into the stratosphere and HBO's made "hundreds of millions" in sideline revenue including online sales of "Sex"-themed items such as a "Carrie Balconette Bra," "Samantha Thong," and a "Mr. Big T-shirt." I just can't see how Gilbert's spiritual renewal can stack up with shoppers more in tune with Carrie Bradshaw's conspicuous consumption.

Finally, while SATC 2 may just be the next big event for girl's night out, Eat may have a harder time drawing devoted readers to fill seats at the cinema -- even with Julia Roberts as the lead. Early reviews of Eat, Pray, Love are somewhat snarky, including this stab from The Guardian's Anna Pickard:

Just in case you were wondering how you might, in the near future, be able to recreate the experience of being trapped in a plane next to an evangelical new-age travel enthusiast, worry no longer. It's being released at the end of summer.
One more thing: Once Roberts as Gilbert embarks on her travels there's not a glimmer of gold or silver in sight in the movie's trailer:

Dogeared better hope that's not the case throughout.

Image via Flickr user Cliff1066 CC2.0