Happiness is a 1998 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Todd Solondz, that portrays the lives of three sisters, their families and those around them. The film was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival for "its bold tracking of controversial contemporary themes, richly-layered subtext, and remarkable fluidity of visual style," and the cast received the National Board of Review award for best ensemble performance.
The film spawned the pseudo-sequel Life During Wartime which premiered at the 2009 Venice Film Festival.
Trish Maplewood, the eldest Jordan sister, is an upper middle class housewife happily married to psychiatrist Bill Maplewood and has three children. Unbeknownst to Trish, however, Bill is a pedophile. He develops an obsession with 11-year-old Johnny Grasso, a classmate of his son, Billy. When Johnny comes for a sleepover, Bill drugs Johnny and then sodomizes him while he is unconscious. Later, he learns that another boy, Ronald Farber, is home alone while his parents are away in Europe. Under the guise of attending a PTA meeting, Bill drives to the boy's house and rapes him. After Johnny is taken to the hospital and found to have been sexually abused, the police arrive at the Maplewood residence to question Bill. After alerting his wife to the police presence, Bill begins by asking the two detectives, "You said something about Ronald Farber?" The two detectives, looking puzzled, say nothing. Bill then stammers, "I mean, Johnny Grasso." Out on bail, he tearfully admits to Billy that he abused the boys, that he enjoyed it, and that he would do it again. When Billy asks, "Would you ever fuck me?", his father replies, "No... I'd jerk off instead."