All Too Well: Short Film Was One of Taylor Swift’s Best Work Ever!

All Too Well is Ahead of its Time with Brilliant Writing and Directing by Taylor Swift.

Linnea Sundquist, Sandscript Author

Taylor Swift’s breathtaking short film, starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, was truly an inspiring piece of work. I have followed Taylor Swift’s work for years and have fallen in love with her music. When All Too Well:The Short Film came out I was very curious and excited to see the well loved song that is beloved by many become a 14 minute short film. The acting in this is so raw and real, it feels like you were a third party watching this couple go through their relationship journey. Most of the scenes were improvised by Sink and O’Brien which made the authenticity of the film very real and spot on. Taylor Swift wanted her short film to be as real and authentic as possible, so her casting choices for Him and Her made the whole film have so much depth and creativity behind it.  I truly loved every minute while watching this and loved the incredible writing and directing by our beloved singer-songwriter, Taylor Swift. 

This short film is about a couple, known as Him and Her, during their relationship from start to finish. Before the film starts a quote appears on the screen, “Love is so short, forgetting is so long.”  This quote that was put in the beginning of the film was a very nice touch of foreshadowing to the end of their relationship which we will get into near the end. The couple is seen walking through a house when Her takes off her red scarf and puts it on the railing of the stairs. The beginning of the short film features the pair taking cute romantic walks through the woods during the picturesque fall time. The song All Too Well plays in the background while the couple takes a walk. The scene then cuts to them eating dinner together with a bunch of Him’s friends. Her tries to hold his hand but he drops it and continues to catch up with his friends while ignoring her throughout dinner. All Too Well still plays in the background but then suddenly stops while Him and Her are cleaning up in the kitchen. They both start to fight about what happened at dinner until he ends up saying sorry and they make up. The tension in this scene is shown through cool colors like blue, turquoise, and even little hints of black which is completely opposite to the colors shown while they were walking through the woods, like dark reds, light oranges and yellows. 

After their fight All Too Well resumes where it left off and shows us a flashback to their walk in the woods while Him throws his car keys on the ground while raging about a phone call. Their relationship starts to become very strained with continuous fights and eventually the “breaking point” in their relationship. We actually don’t see what exactly the reason was behind the breakup, but we do see Her confronting Him about something while turning her back on him and crying. The film carries on with the aftermath of the breakup and Her trying to get over Him. A couple years later Her transitions from Sadie Sink to Taylor Swift herself. Older Her is at a book signing for her new book All Too Well. The song slowly starts to end while the camera starts to move outside of the building towards the window and we see Him watching her during her book signing wearing her red scarf.  

The way the scenes are shot and have that long lingering style while Him and Her take romantic walks makes their relationship seem like a fairytale. But the huge age gap between the two makes Him treat Her like a child especially when he gives her piggyback rides and Her having a very childish bedroom as well as having her innocent young-looking 21st birthday party. The power in the relationship is Him since, as previously mentioned, he treats her like a child and manipulates that immensely. Once again as mentioned above we see the quote “Love is so short, forgetting is longer” which most likely applies to both of them in a different form. With Her the hardness of the forgetting part of their relationship is trying to get over the past while the forgetting part for Him is that he literally can’t get over it. We see this when older Her is able to mature emotionally and be able to move on healthily as well as be really successful in her new book while Him is still mentally where he was when they first started dating and still wearing her red scarf which shows he hasn’t been able to move on like she has. The power immediately shifts back to Her. 

Taylor Swift made an excellent choice by choosing Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien. Their chemistry on screen was so beautiful, it made you feel like you were actually there experiencing their relationship as a third party. Not only was this a smart choice, acting wise but Taylor Swift says it was actually intentional to hire actors with a significant age difference since that was how it was with her own relationship, which this short film was based on. As previously stated, most scenes were improvised. The huge fight that broke out between the pair was all created on the spot by Sink and O’Brien. Once again I think this is a very smart decision since the fight will seem more authentic and real. The scenery from the romantic walk in the woods to the tension at the dinner party, really shows its viewers, without actually telling them, what will happen in the next scene. Lastly the song All Too Well, which deserves an honorable mention, was probably one of the highlights of the short film. I really enjoyed having the song acted out so we could get a better understanding and meaning behind the song. 

Overall, I loved this film and I think it will definitely win some awards in the near future. Taylor Swift did a fantastic job writing and directing this and truly is one of the best inspiring singer songwriters of our generation.