Review: I might be OK, but I’m not fine at all

A review of “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version).”

by Jordyn Wilson, News Editor

As if a 30–track album release wasn’t enough, Taylor Swift released a 15-minute short film to accompany her long-awaited song “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version).” 

Swift showcased her writing and directing skills in her debut film and did not disappoint. Every aspect of the film had me entirely enthralled.

The film stars Dylan O’Brien, 30, and Sadie Sink, 19, as a couple in a doomed relationship. Fans speculate the song and film reference Swift’s relationship with actor Jake Gyllenhaal based on the significant age gap between O’Brien and Sink. 

The film is split into seven chapters, taking viewers through the different stages of their relationship. At the end of the film, we find out these chapters are part of a book the girl in the relationship writes 13 years after breaking up. 

One unique aspect of the film was the choice to use longer clips rather than cuts, often panning the scene and focusing on prolonged closeups. This style made me feel as though I was right there in the film with the actors, and it really helped showcase the intensity of each scene. 

The film also has moments where the music completely stops and O’Brien and Sink share emotion-filled exchanges. I have never seen such phenomenal acting, let alone in a music video. Each of these scenes had me ugly crying with either happiness or absolute heartbreak — simply no in-between. 

The first “chapter” begins with Sink asking O’Brien, “Are you for real?” alluding the idea that something about her partner is made up or too good to be true. In these beginning scenes, the couple seems to be wrapped around one another’s finger, completely in love. 

This changes abruptly in the chapter “The First Cracks In The Glass” where the two sit around a table with O’Brien’s friends, drinking. Sink’s character is dressed more maturely than in other scenes in an attempt to look older, but if you look closely, her wine glass is full unlike the other guests due to her young age. 

O’Brien’s character purposely ignores Sink throughout this scene, leading to an intense confrontation once they are alone. The acting here is spot on with Sink trying to discuss O’Brien’s behavior and actions, just for him to gaslight her and make her feel crazy for thinking the way she does. 

This interaction was so realistic that when the couple makes up only moments later and the song resumes, I was surprised and had forgotten it was a music video. Their acting draws you in and makes you believe every word they say. 

The song revolves around a scarf that Swift supposedly left at an ex’s house. The video does a great job referencing this scarf throughout the story — beginning with Sink wearing it into the home, the illustration on her book being a scarf and O’Brien showing up outside of her book release wearing the same scarf. 

Swift also makes an appearance in the film which I thought was a great choice considering the new lyrics she added to the Taylor’s Version of the song: “I was never good at telling jokes, but the punchline goes I’ll get older but your lovers stay my age.” She plays what we assume is herself today, or an older version of Sink’s character.

This showed both the character’s growth from the breakup but also makes a stab at Gyllenhaal for using her young age as reason to break up, only to continue dating women half his age.

Overall, I was blown away by everything about this short film—from the cinematography, casting and acting, to the story and new lyrics. I would rate it a solid 13/10. 

If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out this film — but be prepared to cry your little heart out.