On the surface, Land Ho! centers on a couple of sixty-something guys (Paul Eenhoorn, Earl Lynn Nelson) who are trying to recapture their youth. Even if their salad days are behind them, they still have their share of fun (and unexpected moments) amidst Iceland’s beautiful landscapes.
While Colin (Eenhoorn) is reserved and laid back, ex-brother-in-law Mitch (Nelson), is a rowdy, straight talking extrovert. This opposites attract dynamic is one of the many reasons Land Ho! succeeds, and it’s their open approach to life which gives the film a refreshing level of resonance.
Shot in just 18 days, the film was written and directed by Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz. Earl Lynn, Stephens’ second cousin, acted in her previous films Passenger Pigeons and Pilgrim Song. Since he has an effusive and larger than life personality off screen, Earl Lynn is also natural scene stealer. To his credit, Eenhoorn is more than fine playing the straight man role, as Colin’s continuing exasperation over Mitch’s antics also reap comedic dividends.
In real life, Earl Lynn’s contains the same exuberance as Mitch, and it’s a shared passion comes from the realization that we all live on borrowed time.
“I love life,” said Earl Lynn who, along with being an actor, is also an oculoplastic surgeon. “I know that my experience with death – I spent four years, three months, and thirteen days in Vietnam. I found both of my parents dead, and tomorrow I could be dead. So I squeeze life for every nickel that I can get out of it every day. I work hard and I play hard.”
Click on the media bar below to hear Earl Lynn discuss the universality of Land Ho! and why it’s had such a strong emotional impact on moviegoers.