What If (2023) Review – Filipino romance film is a flop

September 7, 2023 (Last updated: 2 weeks ago)
Romey Norton 1
Movie Reviews, Movies, Netflix, Streaming Service
2023 Filipino Netflix movie What If Review


This film is a mundane love story with little impact or drama. One to fall asleep to.

Here is our review of the 2023 Filipino Netflix movie What If, which does not contain significant spoilers. 

What If is a Filipino drama-romance film directed by Manny Palo and stars Alessandra de Rossi and JM de Guzman. The story surrounds a pair of newlywed musicians who get trapped in a storm on their honeymoon.

They face difficult truths that could tear their marriage apart. While music brings them together, they both have different wants and needs in life, and being stuck together alone makes them confront this.

What If (2023) Review and Plot Summary

The opening is quite bleak — it felt like I’d just seen the ending of the film before it even began. Like reading the last page of the book and feeling a sense of completion rather than intrigue. 

This film tries to do what romance-dramas do which is explore themes of love — specifically, early marriage and real-life relatable conflicts such as family interference, careers, children, and jealousies. Whilst it attempts to cover a lot the characters aren’t well written with enough depth and backstory to keep you entertained and captivated. 

However, the actors give a decent performance, they have some good chemistry on screen, but the characters are not undeniable. The film tries hard to build a perfect relationship, through flashbacks, snapshots, and playful music, but this gets boring fast and doesn’t justify their relationship breakdown.

The multiple flashbacks throughout the film felt unnecessary. The intensity on the island when the storms happen is where the film is at its strongest. It takes forty-five minutes to get the first bit of rain, and the main storm only really happens towards the end. 

READ: Where was the 2023 Filipino movie What If filmed?

The island setting itself is very beautiful and idyllic for romantic moments and is used to reflect their relationship. Fresh and bright to begin with and then the typical trope of a storm to show their tumultuous relationship and the rocky path they’re on. 

The ending was as slow as the start — I thought the film might pick up but it does not. It ends where it started, Billie walking across the beach with her dead plant and relationship in hand, but this time there’s a sad twist, which I won’t spoil. 

Is the 2023 Filipino movie What If good or bad?

It’s not good. It is not emotionally satisfying. The film is nearly two hours in length, and the drama wasn’t compelling enough to be memorable or recommendable.

What it does offer is a story about relationships and the genuine conflicts that can happen when social media and families are involved. The irony is that they are on a secluded island, and their parents and jealousy cause the couple to fight, showing its audiences Instagram versus reality.

Is the 2023 Filipino movie What If worth watching?

No. The film is far too long. I’d only recommend watching if you adore romantic dramas and are desperate for something new to watch. 

And seeing the end at the beginning was ridiculous. You instantly know the ending, so what is the point of watching the film?

What did you think of the 2023 Filipino Netflix movie What If? Comment below.

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1 thought on “What If (2023) Review – Filipino romance film is a flop

  • September 22, 2023 at 3:44 am

    Quite literally one of the worst films I’ve ever watched. I can’t tolerate mama’s boys, and this Jex character is next level wimpy. What mother calls her son repeatedly while he’s on his honeymoon? ? Major red flag!

    The acting is amateurish, the writing is stilted and the character development is practically non-existent.

    Two hours of my life I’ll never get back.

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