An emotional gay drama, The Green is an honest, hard-hitting film about a well-meaning teacher in trouble. Early on in the film, a confident gay high school student makes the observation that “people always look for the easiest scapegoat when their sense of entitlement is threatened.” That line of dialog sets the movie in motion.
It is alluded to that Jason’s family life is not very stable. His mother and stepfather (Karen Young and Bill Sage) don’t seem like the most nurturing or attentive parents. Despite warnings from his best friend and co-worker (Illeana Douglas, charming as always) about getting too involved in the lives of students, Michael presses on. He sees potential in Jason and cares about his well-being.
Unfortunately for all parties involved, a heated public argument ensues during a school art show. Jason’s parents soon begin to suspect that Michael’s interest in their son may have lurid undertones.
It doesn’t take long before Michael becomes the town pariah, accused of carrying on a predatory relationship with his student. Adding insult to injury, his relationship with Daniel (Cheyenne Jackson), his loving partner of 15 years, is thrown into jeopardy when authorities start investigating the pair as partners in sordid crime.
The pair’s only major ally comes in the form of Karen (Julia Ormond), a tough-as-nails attorney who believes in Michael’s innocence (and also happens to be gay). Karen is ready for a dirty fight – planning to expose Jason’s parents as ethically-bankrupt opportunists. But, Michael’s refusal to cause harm to this already struggling family might prevent him from clearing his name.