Movie review: “Land Ho!” is like taking a vacation with old dudes

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From the August 28, 2014 edition

If, like me, you a) need a vacation and b) enjoy the wit and wisdom of the older generation, “Land Ho!” is the movie for you this weekend.

The indie comedy revolves around a recently retired New Orleans surgeon named Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson) and his Australian ex-brother-in-law Colin (Paul Eenhoorn) as the two embark on a vacation to Iceland to “get their groove back.”

The foul-mouthed Mitch — he describes a particularly yummy stew as being “like angels pissing on your tongue” — and more uptight Colin are a classic comedy troupe, but it works here. There’s something warm and lovable, even when Mitch gets inappropriate. The naturalistic style of the actors is well-suited for the material.

The writing/directing team of Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens keep a leisurely pace as the twosome falls in and out of a series of minor adventures. It’s whimsical like “Sideways” and feels like a slice of life like “Boyhood.” (I dubbed it “Old Manhood” in my notes.)

Furthermore, the Icelandic setting is gorgeous. “Land Ho!” is a strangely relaxing experience that felt a bit like that vacation I need to take. For the price of a movie ticket, that’s tough to beat.