“All Too Well (10-minute version) (Taylor’s Version)” wow. Like many other Swifties, I skipped right to the last track of Taylor Swift’s second re-recorded album. It was an incredible feeling to hear this song for the first time again. After finishing the song and laying on my dorm floor like a crumpled-up piece of paper, I couldn’t imagine what the short film would do to me.
Like everything that Miss Swift does, the short film was filled with easter eggs. I don’t have the word count to cover all of them (I tried but my Editor-in-Chief wouldn’t approve it), but here are five easter eggs from the All Too Well short film.
The Age Difference Between Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien
This was a detail that fans noticed as soon as the two actors were announced to be starring in the film, and it is not an accident. Sadie Sink is 19 at the release of the film and Dylan O’Brien is 30. This is disturbing, to say the least. What makes it worse is the perception of both actors. Sadie Sink had her breakout performance on the Netflix show “Stranger Things,” where she played a 14-year-old character. This role has branded Sadie in the minds of most people as a child actress.
On the other hand, Dylan O’Brien has been in the acting world for a little longer, with his biggest roles being in The Maze Runner and Teen Wolf, both of which debuted in the early 2010s. We see Dylan as a grown-up. He may have started his career playing a teenager, but that was a decade ago.
Watching these two actors kiss on screen was disturbing, and it’s supposed to be. The age difference between Sadie and Dylan is meant to mimic the age gap between Taylor Swift and her ex-boyfriend, Jake Gyllenhaal; Taylor was 19 and Jake was 29 when their relationship started. Taylor Swift does everything for a reason, and casting the amazing Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien for this film was no different.
The References To 2010
As we know, Taylor and Jake started dating in October of 2010, just 3 months after the iPhone 4 came out. So naturally, they would have both had them at the time. Taylor didn’t forget this detail. In the film, iPhone 4’s can be spotted in two scenes. In the scene where Dylan is seen yelling on the phone, you can tell by the size and shape that it is none other than Apple’s newest release. Again, later in film, when Sadie is crying in bed with her phone ringing next to her, it’s the same phone. We see what you’re doing blondie.
The Book that “Taylor” is selling at the end of the short film had many fans going, “Wait. Isn’t that? Hold on. Yeah, it is!” If you aren’t familiar, Taylor posted a TikTok on October 26, 2021. In the TikTok, she shows a video of herself writing at the end of a blue book the line, “Just between us, did the love affair maim you too?” When the 10-minute version of “All Too Well” came out, we discovered this line was from the 5th verse. Then in the short film, you can see that “Taylor” is reciting the words of the song as she reads the book. So the book she was writing in for the TikTok is the same book she is selling at the end of the short film. Also, one quick thing: the short film flashes forward 13 years, and since as we discussed the film was set in 2010, the book scene is happening in 2023. Is Taylor trying to say she’s releasing a book in 2 years? Only time will tell.
Acting Out “The Moment I Knew”
“The Moment I Knew” is the 17th track on Red. It tells the story of Taylor trying to celebrate her birthday but “the one who means the most to” her doesn’t show. Fans have said for years that this is about Jake Gyllenhaal who missed her 21st birthday party. In the short film, there’s a scene where Sadie Sinks walks around a crowded room looking distressed and seeming to be searching the crowds for someone. The very next scene is a table with a birthday cake. Sadie blows out the candles, including a 21 candle. She smiles with her friends but then her face drops and you can see the hurt behind her eyes. This is essentially how the events of Taylor’s 21st played out, as explained in “The Moment I Knew.” Sneaky Taylor, giving us a music video inside of a short film.
The “Lover” References
This one is a lot more exciting and happy. Taylor released an album in 2019 entitled, “Lover” with a song of the same name. The song “Lover” is known to be one of Taylor’s most romantic, and the music video goes right along with it. There are many parallels between the music video and the short film. From the short film and music video respectively, the scenes include a girl laying on a bed by herself and a girl laying on a bed with her lover, a girl blowing out birthday candles looking sad and alone, and then a girl blowing out candles with her lover next to her, two people pressing their foreheads together, dancing and the girl being spun, a girl having her lover ignore her at dinner and a girl and her lover talk and laughing at dinner, sitting down and the girl leaning her head on her lover’s shoulder. These parallels are meant to show the contrast between the two relationships by putting the couples in the same situation. I think I speak for everyone when I say, I’m glad Taylor’s in a “Lover” relationship after everything.
All in all, the short film is amazing. The cinematography is beautiful, the directing is genius, the acting is flawless, and of course, the music is beautiful. I (as well as many others) am hoping and expecting the film to win an Emmy. That would be extra sweet for the 11-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift, especially when you consider that Jake Gyllenhaal (an actor) has never won one.
Taylor, thank you for creating something so spectacular. Thank you for letting us relive the glory of Red. We can’t wait to see what you do next.