‘What If’ (2023) Ending Explained & Netflix Film Summary: Do Billie And Jecs Get Together?


What If is a Filipino romantic drama that revolves around a recently married couple celebrating their honeymoon on an island. Jose Emilio Cruz (Jecs) and Billie Neri were both musicians who fell in love as a result of their shared passion. Jose was in awe of Billie’s talent, and the two started to compose music together. Jecs and Billie soon became inseparable, and eventually, he proposed to her. Life was nothing less than a bed of roses for the two, and getting married seemed like the next obvious choice. It was only after Jecs and Billie’s wedding, when they went to live on an island for some time, that they realized there were quite a lot of unaddressed differences between them. The honeymoon was an eye-opener, and whether or not they wanted to stay together was a tough question they repeatedly asked themselves.

Spoiler Alert

What Caused Conflict Between Jecs And Billie? 

In What If, Billie had been open about her condition from the moment Jecs expressed that he wanted to have his own children. Billie suffered from premature ovarian failure, which implied that pregnancy could be a tough journey for her. There were not too many treatments, and even though it was not an easy decision to make, Billie made up her mind to not have children. The treatments were not foolproof, and she did not wish to spend her time, money, and emotions trying to chase something that was just not for her. But Jecs was not ready to give up.

Instead of comforting Billie, he constantly suggested alternatives. Clearly, the conversation was affecting Billie, yet Jecs continued to discuss treatment options. Billie made it clear that Jecs could take his time to think the wedding over. She did not wish to force her decision on him, and he could back out if having children was important to him. Jecs believed he loved Billie, and he did not wish to part ways with her simply because they had different opinions.

The wedding did happen, and they were happy until Jecs’ mother mentioned a remedy for Billie’s condition. Billie felt worse about herself. Jecs’ mother was adamant about having children, and Jecs never cared to reason with her. Jecs was hopeful that Billie would have a change of heart and that she would agree to look at the available options to conceive. But the honeymoon did not change Billie’s mind. She was furious that her husband did not respect her opinion and was forcing his decision on her. When his mother called Billie a barren woman, he simply laughed with her instead of defending her. Their first few days on the island were peaceful, but the moment Billie experienced the pressure to conceive, something that she was physically incapable of doing, she could no longer look at Jecs with the same love and respect.

How Did Billie’s Childhood Affect Their Relationship?

We find out in What If that Billie’s father, Enrico Neri, was a celebrated musician, but as a father, he was mostly absent. He always made it a point to mention how he helped Billie by buying her a condo to live in. The moment Billie and Jecs decided to marry, Billie made up her mind to no longer stay at the condo. She did not wish for her father to assume that he had the upper hand on her, and leaving the condo was her way of proving it to him. Her goal had always been to be financially independent, and as an adult, she never wished to seek help from her father. When Billie was little, she was verbally and physically abused by her father, and she had no one to help her escape the situation. Her mother was living in denial, and she could not discuss it in public. Her childhood trauma had affected her so deeply that any sort of aggressive behavior or verbal abuse got to her. Billie later confessed that it was because of the abuse that she had to endure as a child that she was afraid of raising a child of her own. With her marriage falling apart, Billie wondered if she was truly incapable of loving and nurturing. The guilt of being incapable of giving birth started to get to Billie, and Jecs did not make her feel any better.

Do Billie And Jess Get Together In The End?

Along with their conflicting opinions about their future and their overall approach to life itself, there was a past incident that led to more bickering between the newly married couple. Billie noticed another artist named Sunshine reacting to all of Jec’s pictures. She wondered if the two had a history together, but Jecs denied it. Billie’s doubt became all the more certain when she watched an interview with Sunshine, where she confessed to sharing a physically intimate moment with a fellow artist who was now married. Billie persistently questioned Jecs about Sunshine, and he ended up saying that in the past, they did flirt with each other. Billie was visibly jealous; she could not accept that Jecs was following and engaging with the posts of someone he shared a past with. She wanted him to tell the whole truth, but Jecs was too afraid to confess.

After getting drunk out of his wits, Jecs blurted out that he did indeed share an intimate moment with Sunshine, but it did not mean anything to him. Jecs tried to convince Billie that it was all in the past, but Billie was disappointed in him for not being honest with her. During the ending of “What If,” Billie packs her bags and leaves the island. She did not believe their marriage could work. After traveling halfway on the ferry, she received a call informing her about the death of Jec’s mother. Billie immediately returned to the island and comforted Jecs. Jecs routinely received his mother’s calls, and the one time that he did not respond was the last call she made to him. Jecs was completely destroyed, and Billie’s presence helped him cope with the situation.

What If‘s ending suggests that even though their differences had not disappeared, Jecs and Billie decided to put it all behind them. They chose to be there for one another in the present without worrying about what the future had in store. Billie and Jecs are two very different people, and one day or another, the difference will overwhelm them. Jecs cannot live a second of his life without interacting with his online fans. Whereas Billie preferred to live in peace away from the scrutinizing eyes of the public. Jecs wants to have children, and Billie prefers not to have any. By pressuring Billie to make her body go through experiments that might prove futile, Jecs will break Billie’s confidence in herself even more. And this difference seems impossible to resolve. Even if they are together at the moment, the future of the couple does not seem bright at all. Moreover, Billie too, has issues that she needs to heal from to become a confident individual. What If ends on a bittersweet note. The couple might choose to work out their differences, but at the same time, there is no guarantee that they will succeed in doing so.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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