When faced with an insurmountable challenge, it’s easy to feel alone. In Thor Moreno’s feature film, When Jack came backan unlucky actor must put his life on hold to care for his sick mother.
Jack Davis (Mike Markoff) is a B-list actor barely living up to his B-list status. Jack is no longer in the spotlight and his Q-rating is plummeting, as is his attitude in general. Jack needs a chance before his agent… and his girlfriend dump him.
Just as Jack’s fortunes begin to turn, he receives a call informing him that his father, Barry (Lance Henriksen), has passed away, and Jack must return to the family farm and care for his mother, Nancy ( Lindsay Wagner). The family reunion is freezing. Aside from Barry’s death, Jack hasn’t seen his parents since he rose to fame in Hollywood. Nancy never forgave Jack for leaving them. Either way, once he’s taken care of the family business, Jack has a role waiting for him that he desperately has to fulfill.
Of course, there are complications when Jack discovers that Nancy has Alzheimer’s disease. Barry took care of her with the help of their part-time carer Debbie (Emily Ann Kincaid), and the stress likely led to her heart attack. So now Jack must choose between his career and his family.
“…there are complications as Jack discovers that Nancy has Alzheimer’s disease..”
When Jack came back is the touching story of a family struggling with degenerative Alzheimer’s disease. Although the overarching story is a little too on the nose when it comes to Jack’s dilemma with his Hollywood career and his responsibilities as a son, Thor Moreno’s story is much more about raising awareness of the struggle of adult children to take care of their parents.
Lindsay Wagner gives a fantastic performance as Nancy. She always has chops and elevates the performances of her co-stars, especially Mike Markoff as Jack. Nancy needs constant supervision. She forgets to turn off the water in her bath and the stove in her kitchen. The final breaking point comes when Nancy nearly burns down the barn.
Jack must now try to revive his career while caring for or trying to find care for his mother. The task is a full-time job, and as Jack, Markoff becomes the face of those facing a challenge no one ever asked for. The battle for Jack becomes impossible in the face of family, work and even the government.
A Lindsey Wagner performance should be enough to see When Jack came back. The story of Thor Moreno is for anyone whose family members are struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. The message is simple. You’re not alone.
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