All Too Well: The Short Film

“All Too Well” is the fifth track on Taylor Swift’s fourth album Red (2012) released through Big Machine Records. It was originally a 10-minute long track but shortened to five minutes and it is about a traumatic heartbreak (it is speculated to be about Swift’s relationship with actor Jake Gyllenhaal but has not been confirmed). After the surprise release of Folklore and Evermore, Swift re-recorded her 2008 album Fearless and her 2012 album Red. The most anticipated track of the re-recorded Red was “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” because it was going to be the original track, not a re-recording of the released five minute track. 

All Too Well: The Short Film premiered on YouTube on November 12, 2021, and accompanies the 10-minute extended version of Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well”, previously released a day before. It was written and directed by Taylor Swift and stars Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf) and Sadie Sink (Stranger Things). This short film is based on the song and is made up of seven chapters (showing the different stages of their relationship). It opens with a quote from a Chilean poet named Pablo Neruda: “Love is short, forgetting is so long.” The 10 minute version serves as the soundtrack for the film. 

The first chapter is titled: “An Upstate Escape”. This chapter depicts the beginning of their relationship when everything was going well. They’re depicted in a car going to a remote area, most likely a forest. The second chapter is titled: “The First Crack In The Glass” and shows an event where the couple are having dinner with friends but she is quiet and not interacting with others. They have their first argument where she explains how she felt his behavior changed around them and he dismisses her feelings and says he was trying to catch up with his friends but he stops the fight with a forced apology and hugs and kisses. The third chapter is titled: “Are You Real?”. They dance in the refrigerator light and share private intimate moments (i.e., laying with each other and cuddling). 

The fourth chapter is titled: “The Breaking Point” and this chapter opens with him looking anxious and presumably wants to break up with her. He breaks up with her and she is crying on her couch while he calls her repeatedly. She attends a party filled with people closer to his age to most likely befriend them. This chapter also portrays several lines (“You who charmed my dad with self-effacing jokes” and “But then he watched me watch the front door all night, willing you to come”). The fifth chapter is titled “The Reeling” and she is seen slowly going back to her old self while fully accepting the breakup. The sixth chapter is titled: “The Remembering” where the scenes showed in the beginning are replayed to show him remembering the memories they made together. The final and seventh chapter is titled: “Thirteen Years Gone” and this shows her talking about her new book All Too Well and him looking into the building while wearing her scarf. 

The short film was positively received by many and is currently #1 on Trending For Music on YouTube. It has blown away millions of people, many of who are not self-claimed Swifties, with the way the relationship was portrayed and how Swift made many want this to be a full-length movie. This definitely marks the highlight of 2021 for a lot of people.

About Hannah Chen

Hannah is a first-year Anthropology major from Chicago who enjoys scrolling through TikTok and YouTube, tomato beef noodle soup, tres leches cakes, and many other things.

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