Inkwell, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -3

A troubled black family goes on vacation in 1976 from upstate New York to Martha's Vineyard, hoping to solve their problems with time together. Teenager Drew Tate (Larenz Tate) still plays with a doll, and his father Kenny Tate (Joe Morton) is an ex-Black Panther. The vacation starts on a rough note, as the grandmother makes snide comments and lays guilt on her daughter, and the two brothers-in-law get into a fight. Typical teenagers, the two cousins, Drew and Junior, spend time in town and at the beach, riding around and chasing girls. The beach, called "the Inkwell," is frequented only by blacks "who have made it." When the husband of an acquaintance spends time with a prostitute, Drew takes revenge. As the vacation wears on, the family finds points of contact with each other and changes happen. Directed toward older teens, THE INKWELL is a juvenile effort, with a twist, and turns out to be just another pointless summer vacation movie.

The juvenile effect extends to the language used as well. THE INKWELL subjects viewers to many crudities, three profanities, and an overload of obscenities, especially as used in juvenile discussions of sex and female anatomy. There are a few scenes where condoms are discussed and even shown, sometimes humorously, other times with a warning to use them. Sexually-suggestive comments are plentiful, along with suggestive dress, dancing, and actions. However, in a nude beach scene, the props and camera angles are adjusted to avoid showing any nudity. A drawn-out scene has the father and son comparing female anatomy in very crude language. Premarital teenage sex is implied twice, as well as an adulterous encounter with a prostitute. However, the film is refreshingly free of violence, except for some pushing and shoving. A number of racist remarks against both whites and blacks, as well as some "black pride" statements, reflect racial prejudice. The misguided message here seems to be that a long vacation with relatives, along with premarital sex, can bring a family closer together. This juvenile attempt would have been better left in the screenwriter's inkwell.

Preview Reviewer: Alice Anderson
Buena Vista Distribution, 3900 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA 91521

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (27) times - Mild 15; Moderate 12

Obscene Language: Many (34) times (f-word 5, s-word 6, other 23)

Profanity: Few (3) times - Regular 1; Exclamatory 2

Violence: Few times (pushing and shoving)

Sex: Implied four times (once with prostitute, teenagers three times)

Nudity: Many low-cut dresses; one scene in underwear; implied at nude beach

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many references to genitals and intercourse; suggestive body movements, dress, and dancing; condoms shown

Drugs: Drinking at clubs; smoking glamorized; drugs mentioned twice, not condoned

Other: Racial slurs, premarital sex; father/son relate to each other mainly through sexually-suggestive language

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Older teenagers

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