Bob Benson: Couldn’t it be that if someone took care of you, very good care of you, if this person would do anything for you, if their well being was his only thought, is it impossible that you might begin to feel something for him? When there’s true love, it doesn’t matter who it is.
Why, Bob, why? Pete would never have been receptive to Bob’s advances, under any circumstances. We, the audience, know that, but Bob Benson did not. Why then, did he choose such an awful moment to confess his love?
Recall the scene: Pete is confronting Bob about Manolo’s affair with his mother. Pete is angry and disgusted. When Bob suggests that he thinks Manolo is gay, Pete says that means Manolo is a “degenerate” who is “capable of anything.”
This is the exact moment that Bob makes his move. Set aside “degenerate;” Pete was angry and upset. He was disgusted by a sexual display and he wanted to lash out–this is not when you express your love even if it’s welcome. And then, y’know, don’t set aside “degenerate.” Bob used a passive voice in his declaration, making it both about Manolo and Dorothy and about himself and Pete, surely doing this because a lifetime of avoiding the consequences of unwelcome passes has given him an ear for plausible deniability. He seems to be approaching Pete as if Pete’s disgust at Manolo is an opportunity to explain why gay love is okay. But surely he knows that explanation really doesn’t cut it.
I think the scene was amazing and beautiful, but I think it’s poor plotting to place it right there, at that moment. Bob Benson’s lifetime of avoiding getting caught should make him too cagey to choose a dark moment when he’s desperately in need of light.