Taylor Swift Remembers Her Relationship ‘All Too Well’ and She Wants You To Remember It Too


Photo credit: The Crimson

Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink portraying “Him” and “Her” in Taylor Swift’s short film All Too Well.

Emily Aivazian, Staff Writer

‘All Too Well: The Short Film’ produced and written by American singer and songwriter Taylor Swift has been a successful hit, reaching 37 million views as well as being #1 on Youtube’s trending page. The short film features Stranger Things actress Sadie Sink as “Her” and Dylan O’ Brien, known for his role as Stiles Stilinski on MTV’s drama series Teen Wolf, as “Him.” 

Mirrored off Swift’s hit song “All Too Well,” the short film brings the song to life, providing a visual for her powerful lyrics. As the film plays, the song plays behind it, and it feels similar to a music video except for the break in the middle where we see the conflict between the two leads. The audience is able to feel the heartache that resulted from Swift’s past relationship through the remarkable portrayal of the characters and her beautiful voice. Viewers understand the heartbreak and the toll it takes on one to be in a relationship with a manipulative, gaslighting individual.  

There is a specific camera shot pertaining to the character’s natures, with O’Brien standing near the blue refrigerator light, which represents his character’s cold nature, and actress Sink standing opposite to him, near a window, which radiates sunlight, showing her warm nature.  

The age gap between Sink and O’Brien stirred the feelings of many. It was uncomfortable watching a man of thirty years of age being in a relationship with a nineteen-year-old girl. However, speculations convey that Swift had cast Sink and O’Brien intentionally, to reflect her own personal relationship with actor Jake Gyllenhall many years ago. Swift was only twenty years of age and Gyllenhaal was twenty-nine when they were a couple, their age difference being one of the reasons their relationship ended. 

The lyrics had a deeper meaning behind them that I was desperately trying to uncover. I have never been so happy to see O’Brien in a film before, especially one produced by Swift. The idea of Sink and O’Brien working together was unexpected but was everything I had ever wanted. O’Brien’s acting was incredible and I loved how quickly I was able to hate his character. I recognized Sink from Stranger Things but I believe this was her best work by far, as she poured her heart out into the role. Both of their performances awed me, as they drove me to tears. I connected with the lyrics and performance, hurting me the same way Swift had been hurt before. 

The lyrics, “And you call me up again just to break me like a promise – so casually cruel in the name of being honest – I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here…” tore one’s heart into pieces.  Swift remembers the relationship “All Too Well,” giving the title of the song much significance. Both O’Brien and Sink’s performances were phenomenal, giving a visual to a song that has touched so many hearts.  Swift’s talent is wonderful, leaving those who enjoy listening to her music sobbing on the floor yet again, this time to a short film along with her already gut-wrenching music.