Back when they were brothers-in-law, married to two sisters, MITCH (Earl Lynn Nelson) and COLIN (Paul Eenhorn) were close friends, but they drifted apart as Mitch and his wife divorced and Colin’s wife died. Now Mitch, a retired surgeon who can’t quite admit to being retired, recruits a reluctant Colin on a holiday to Iceland—just the ticket to perk up a pair who have endured their share of disappointments but still have a spirit of adventure in them.
Brassy, relentlessly cheery, and prone to colorfully profane language (“…this is so delicious it’s like angels pissin’ on your tongue!”) Southerner Mitch is the live wire of the duo. Colin, a more reserved Australian, is picking up the pieces after a second marriage gone sour. For both men, aging, loneliness, and disenchantment are silent adversaries to be countered with gumption.
Women are much on the radar during their travels: in upscale Reykjavik, they hit the nightclubs with Mitch’s much younger first-cousin-once-removed ELLEN (Karrie Crouse) and her friend JANET (Elizabeth McKee), who happen to be traveling through at the same time. Even though Mitch, who is something of a Dapper Dan, disapproves of the unrevealing outfits worn by the ladies (Ph.D candidates both), a good time, of sorts, is had by all.
As their rented SUV pilots them deeper into the Icelandic hinterlands, Colin and Mitch encounter fellow adventurers, get on each others’ nerves, play movie trivia games, get lost on the moonless moors, grouse about their sons, smoke pot, speak of regrets, and marvel at Iceland’s otherworldly beauty. The vast, haunting landscapes—moss-coated cliffs, fog-shrouded mountains, geothermal pools—form a primordial Eden, the perfect backdrop for the friends’ escapades.
And as Mitch exclaims when Colin’s spirits flag, “Don’t get that Sunday afternoon attitude—good times are still a-comin’!”—a testament to the fact that joie de vivre can replenish us at any age.
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