In The Hobo Code, Salvatore says “I know what I want.” In Nixon vs. Kennedy, we get to see what he wants.

They’re reading Paul’s play, and the scene ends with Salvatore’s character kissing Joan’s character. They kiss, the audience responds, and—probably because of the audience response—Sal gives it all he’s got, dipping her back and making quite a show of it. The office goes wild, whooping and cheering, and the camera gives us a close-up of Sal’s reaction; beaming, joyful, fulfilled. This is what he wants, this praise for being “a man,” for being, well, heterosexual, for doing it right. It is the only moment when we see Salvatore really happy.

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