Yesterday on July 1, 2014, Sony pictures Classic hosted a special screening of "Land Ho!" at Sony Pictures Screening Room in New York City. The film revolved around two adorable 60-something ex-brothers-in-law in their rejuvenating trip to Iceland. With breathtaking views of the Nordic countryside and intense party scenes in Reykjavik, it was impossible not to enjoy the Bucket List style plot.
Using only two main characters in the film made the story simple to follow. It was easy to understand the complexity of characters in a comical manner. In one of the scenes, Mitch played by Earl Lynn Nelson manages to convince Colin played by Paul Eenhoorn to go on a hiking adventure in the middle of the night with two glow sticks as their lighting source. The situation by itself sounds humorous enough to give the audience a few laughs; but the fact that everyone has that friend that somehow persuades you to do the most outrageous things made it extremely relatable.
Banal and ordinary problems surrounded these two men, but their kind hearted attitude and unexpected reactions to them made the film extremely enjoyable to watch. Audience members were heard laughing constantly throughout the screening, and even the actors themselves laughed at their own jokes.
Read our exclusive interviews with the cast and director below:
Aaron Katz directed the film.
What was the most exciting part of being in Iceland?
AK: Every day was an exciting anecdote because these two are unpredictable and you never know what they might do and Iceland is a place that really inspires a physical reaction like the waterfalls that they see. Oftentimes they stuck to the script but often times the nature that we were seeing around us really set them off in a great and exciting direction, and that was the most exciting part.
What can we expect in this film in regards to comedy?
AK: Well, you can expect some pretty funny comedy; basically we tried to take the structure of films like Tommy Boy and populated with complex real characters, something that works as a comedy genre film and also strikes a little deeper.
Tell us a little bit more about the inspiration for writing this story?
AK: Martha and I co-wrote and co-directed the movie and we wrote it with the guys in mind so we really heard their voices and that was what we were aiming at.
Paul Eenhoorn and Earl Lynn Nelson star in the film.
Was this your first time in Iceland? Tell us about the experience of being there?
PE: It was my first time, it is a beautiful country really magnificent and compact enough to do a lot of sightseeing. We were there in October which is fall which is a little colder, so it was cold most of the time we were there because it is an island and the wind comes and stays there.
Since the writers had you two in mind while writing the film was it easier to relate to your character?
PE: Yeah pretty much, that’s a long story and the part was written for Earl and I once the cast decided they were going to use us.
What was the funniest moment of improvisation during the set?
PE: There is a line in there where he is talking about lighthouses and he is talking about guys and is there anything else and I said I am almost afraid to say. We would improvise as much as we could but we still shot the script and just improvised around it.
What was your favorite part of being in Iceland?
ELN: My favorite part was eating the lobsters.
The film was very kind hearted and filled with situations that anyone could relate to, could you tell us more about that?
ELN: When people think this is a movie for older people and to me that is not the case, you could be in your twenties, thirties or forties and get divorced, lose your job, have a loved one die and you still got to go on with your life ... The point is no matter what age group, you got to stand up and go on with your life. Don’t get me wrong, I am not denying how old I am but nobody is having more fun than I am, I guarantee you that. I dance and I have a good time because tomorrow I might not be here. Those are things that happen every day to everybody’s life and you have to be able to take a deep breath and go on with your life.
After the screening, we were invited to Rue 57 for a post screening celebratory gathering. "Land Ho!" themed cocktails and Icelandic inspired hor d’oeuvres continued the Nordic ambiance, while guests mingled with the cast and crew of the film. The film hits theaters on July 11, 2014.
Estefania Garcia-Correa contributed reporting.