Video Review: Taylor Swift “All Too Well”

A Pablo Neruda quote: “love is so short, forgetting is is so long” reads across a black screen. Lying in bed, a twentysomething woman (Sadie Sink) asks the thirtysomething man (Dylan O’Brien), “are you real?” As he strokes her hair, he inquires “what do you mean?” She tells him, “I don’t know. I just feel like I made you up.”

She takes her scarf and leaves it on the banister as she walks into the thirtysomething man’s sister’s home. As they drive in the forest, a note on the screen reads: “An Upstate Escape.” He holds her hand as they drive. She jumps on his back as they walk on the trail. They kiss as they sit by the lake.

She sits at the dinner table with the thirtysomething man and his friends. A note on the screen reads: “the first crack in the glass.” She takes his hand and he pulls it away, giving it a quick pat. Back in the forest, he gets out of the car and drops the keys at her. She picks them up and sits in the passenger side of the car, watching him as he talks on his cell phone.

Back in the kitchen, she rinses off her plate. The thirtysomething man brings his plate to the sink, asking her “why are you so pissed off?” She responds, “I’m not pissed off. Who said I’m pissed off?” He tells her, “these are my friends. And they were super fucking nice to you, too.” The twentysomething woman says, “well, I liked your friends. I never said I didn’t like your friends. Why you were being the way you were around them.” He retorts, “you were being quiet and weird the entire time.” The twentysomething woman protests, “I was not being weird.”

The thirtysomething man grumbles, “that’s such bullshit.” She shouts, “you dropped my fucking hand, what am I supposed to do with that? I don’t even know any of these people. They are all strangers. They’re all older than me.” She throws the cloth down on the counter. The thirtysomething man tells her, “you’re making this about you. I’m catching up with friends. I don’t even remember the moment you’re talking about. How can you be attacking me about something I don’t even like fucking know.” She implores for him, “don’t! You’re making me feel fucking stupid.” He counters, “I think you’re making yourself feel that way. These are people I haven’t seen in like ten years. And you just sit there the entire fucking time.” She wipes a tear away from her eyes, telling him, “It was fun. I had a blast.” He mutters, “Now. Now this is the night we’re doing this. Awesome, so fuckin’ awesome.” She continues to clean the dishes as she says, “you treated me differently.” He wants to know how. She explains he make any eye contact with her. He says. “holy shit. I just can’t. I just can’t.” She cries and he hugs her, saying, “I don’t want to fight. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I dropped your hand.”

They dance by the refrigerator while a note on the screen reads: “are you real?” They sit by the fireplace and play a board game. He kisses her arm in bed and she lies on his bare chest. She kisses him on the forehead as a message on the screen reads: “the breaking point.” They argue in the kitchen. She cries in her bedroom. Holding a glass, she wanders around at a party, looking for him. At her home, she sits at the table while the thirtysomething man and her dad talk. A twentysomething woman brings her a birthday cake. She blows out the candles with her friends.

She lies in bed, staring at the wall while a message reads: “the reeling.” The now-thirtysomething woman (Taylor Swift) puts on earrings and shuts off the lights in her home as the message reads, “13 years gone.” She walks past a row of her All Too Well paperbacks on the table. A room of twentysomething women listen to the thirtysomething woman during her reading. From the window, the now-fortysomething man watches her and walks away.

Rating: 5/5

The fortysomething man re-reads “The Breaking Point” chapter from the thirtysomething woman’s novel, “All Too Well” at the bookstore. She had been destroyed, questioning herself. He thinks of her back then. She had been perfect. He chose not to pay attention. Paying attention meant allowing himself to be in love with her. He couldn’t do it all the time.

His wife kisses him on the forehead and asks, “I thought you finished that book.” He says he’s been reading it on and off. However, he had finished the first day he bought it. According to her bio, she was living with her boyfriend and cats. She was currently on a book tour and New York was going to be the first stop.

He drives upstate by himself and wonders if she returned every so often like he did. Part of him wished they’ll run into each other. He’ll apologize and they’ll kiss. They’ll contemplate blowing up their for lives for each other. And this time, he’ll promise her, he would. He’d leave his wife and little girl in a minute if she said the word. All he needed was the word.

Director: Taylor Swift Year: 2021

Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine . Fevers of the Mind, and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology.