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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Matty Rich|
|Produced by||Irving Azoff
Jon J. Jashni
|Written by||Trey Ellis
Vanessa Bell Calloway
|Distributed by||Touchstone Pictures|
|Release date(s)||April 22, 1994|
|Running time||110 minutes|
The Inkwell is a 1994 romantic comedy/drama film, directed by Matty Rich. This movie stars Larenz Tate, Joe Morton, Suzzanne Douglass, Glynn Turman, and Vanessa Bell Calloway. The Inkwell is about a 16-year-old boy coming of age on Martha's Vineyard in the summer of 1976.
Plot summary 
Set in the summer of 1976, the movie follows the adventures of Drew Tate (Larenz Tate), a shy 16-year-old from upstate New York, when he and his family spend two weeks with affluent relatives on Martha's Vineyard. Drew's parents, Kenny (Joe Morton) and Brenda (Suzzanne Douglass), worry that their son is emotionally disturbed. His favorite companion is a doll, in which he names Iago (after the character in the Shakespeare classic Othello), with which he engages in animated conversations. They also fear that a fire he accidentally set in the family garage foreshadows a future as an arsonist.
On Martha's Vineyard, Drew is thrown into an affluent, party-loving black society that congregates on a beach known as the Inkwell. The visit is also the occasion of some bitter family strife. Drew's Aunt Francis (Vanessa Bell Calloway) and her husband, Spencer (Glynn Turman), are conservatives whose walls are plastered with pictures of Republican dignitaries such as Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan (who they keep saying will become President someday). Kenny, a former Black Panther, and Spencer argue furiously about racial issues.
The Inkwell follows Drew's bumbling pursuit of the insufferably snooty Lauren (Jada Pinkett Smith). He also befriends Heather (Adrienne-Joi Johnson), a young woman whose husband, Harold (Morris Chestnut), is a faithless louse. The movie comes to an end on the Fourth of July, when the Bicentennial fireworks end up symbolizing not just America's 200th birthday but Drew finally losing his virginity with Heather.
The film is notable for featuring several cast members from the popular sitcom A Different World.
- Larenz Tate as Drew Tate
- Joe Morton as Kenny Tate
- Suzzanne Douglass as Brenda Tate
- Glynn Turman as Spencer Phillips
- Vanessa Bell Calloway as Francis Phillips
- Adrienne-Joi Johnson as Heather Lee
- Morris Chestnut as Harold Lee
- Jada Pinkett Smith as Lauren Kelly
- Duane Martin as Junior Phillips
- Mary Alice as Evelyn
- Phyllis Yvonne Stickney as Dr. Wade
- Markus Redmond as Darryl
- Perry Moore as Moe
- Akia Victor as Charlene
- Special Appearance by the R&B group Jade (American band)
In popular culture 
- The Inkwell at the Internet Movie Database
- The African American Heritage Trail of Martha's Vineyard including the Inkwell Beach