Dear Penthouse: I, Guy (Stuart Townsend) of Dublin, was a student at Cambridge in 1933. It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, free-spirited heiress Gilda Bessé (Charlize Theron) burst into my quarters, sopping wet. She’d fought with her boyfriend, a don. “I gotta get outta these togs,” she said. “Help.” I complied. “You can sleep on my bed,” I offered. We shared the mattress chastely. She complimented my “willy” and said she hoped to dream about it.
Gilda moved to Paris while I agitated against fascism. The Spanish Civil War raged. I plunged into Gilda’s milieu—she was a photographer now. We took a bath wearing nothing but neckties and hats. We desired each other intensely, though she had no interest in politics, unlike her limping Spanish friend Mia (Penélope Cruz). It turns out they had been lesbian lovers! No threesome manifested, though we all tumbled about under the sheets. After Mia got socked by her depraved boyfriend, Gilda lured him to a hotel room and reprised her Oscar-winning role from Monster. Later I went to fight in Spain where Mia was a nurse and we nuzzled obscurely. Then I worked for the Resistance in France. Gilda took a Nazi lover—how could she? I remember best her mutable hair, which went from a bob to a wave to a longish Angelina Jolie coif.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 7, 2004