10 Movies to Watch While Listening to Taylor Swift’s ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’

Jess Day once said, “I just wanted to listen to Taylor Swift alone!” and we felt that, because in the immortal words of Jake Peralta: “Taylor Swift. Always right.” Taylor Swift's music always gets us feeling some kind of way and sometimes you just need to put on a good movie and settle into your feels. Whether you're looking to watch a good comedy movie or cry over the latest movie release, Wealth of Geeks has you covered.

10 Movies to Watch While Listening to Taylor Swift's Red (Taylor's Version)

All Too Well Gaslight

When Taylor Swift released Red (Taylor’s Version) on November 12th, the album was accompanied by the highly anticipated—or in the case of one particular 40-year-old actor, highly dreaded—music video for “All Too Well (10 Minute Version).” Starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O'Brien, and directed by Swift herself, the video premiered on November 13, and even played in select theatres in New York.

In honor of Taylor Swift’s theatrical directorial debut, we’ve paired 10 songs from Red (Taylor’s Version) with the movies they remind us of.

Image Credit: Universal Pictures. 

1. I Bet You Think About Me: Legally Blonde (2001)

Legally Blonde scaled

“I Bet You Think About Me” focuses on how out of place and less-than Taylor Swift was made to feel in a former relationship, and the perception held by all that her ex’s new girlfriend is a more appropriate choice. Despite this, she continues to thrive, enough so that her ex has no choice but to think about her when he’d rather forget. If Taylor has proven anything, it’s that the best revenge is a life well-lived, and no movie better exemplifies that than the Reese Witherspoon-starring comedy Legally Blonde.

Throughout the film, Elle Woods’ motivation is initially just to remind her ex-boyfriend Warner what he’s missing now that he’s dumped her for someone more appropriate. A girl “with a fine pedigree” if you will. But even though Warner had no problem dumping Elle when he didn’t think she was good enough, as she continued to thrive, he couldn’t get her out of his mind. So much so, that less than a year later, he was begging for her to take him back. But to borrow from another Red track, she told him they were never, ever getting back together, and walked away with her head held high. Triumphant, just like Taylor on this track.

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

2. 22: 13 Going on 30 (2003)

13 going on 30

“22” is one of those beautiful songs that just hits so right for 365 days of your life, and then after that only serves to make you feel old, with the feeling growing worse the more time passes. But looking beyond the literal, “22” beautifully encompasses the uncertainty and chaos of being young and carefree. The upbeat twang, themes of friendship, and the joyful declarations also lend it an addictive slumber-party energy.

13 Going On 30 shares “22”’s slumber party vibe—and features a literal slumber party as well. The story of 13-year old Jenna Rink waking up one day as a thirty, flirty and thriving version of herself has the same energy as “22”, especially in the first half. It is a celebration of everything it means to hit a certain milestone in life, paired in both cases with the understanding that hitting an ideal age isn’t always all it's cracked up to be, but that doesn’t mean we won’t make the most of it while we’re here.

Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing. 

3. I Knew You Were Trouble: The Twilight Saga (2008-2012)

The Twilight Saga

Perhaps it’s because the original version of Red came out at the height of the Twilight saga’s cinematic run. Perhaps it’s the way lockdown has made us all regress into the people we were 10+ years ago. But somehow Twilight and the Red album are inextricably linked in my head. Nowhere is this clearer than in the way “I Knew You Were Trouble” feels like some kind of anthem for Bella’s love life.

Both boys in Bella’s life are trouble in their own way. Much like Taylor suggests throughout the album, no matter which way Bella looks, which path she considers she is in over her head. While Taylor’s relationships never had any supernatural life-or-death stakes, the overall rawness of Red suggests she certainly feels that way. The way she considers the danger and dives in any way is peak Twilight—though obviously, the outcome was better for Bella.

Plus the line “now I’m lying on the cold, hard ground” is just so reminiscent of the spinning camera shot from New Moon where three months elapse in the span of seconds.

Image Credit: Summit Entertainment.

4. All Too Well: Marriage Story (2019)

Marriage Story scaled

Around the release of the folklore and evermore albums, Taylor Swift said she had started drawing inspiration from outside her own life when it came to her artistic process. Among the movies she cited as an inspiration is the Adam Driver and Scarlett Johanssen-starring Marriage Story, detailing the final months of a once-passionate relationship that has now turned bitter and angry.

It’s clear by watching the short film of “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” that Taylor had Marriage Story on the brain, particularly in the way the arguments were staged and shot, as well as the overall feeling of unease and devastation throughout, and the raw emotion on display.

It’s hard to separate “All Too Well” from Taylor’s own life. Of all her songs that one feels the most pointed, the most visceral, the most painful. But if like calls to like, then what better movie to pair it with than one that equally draws from a real-life event that was painful for the person involved—in this case of director Noah Baumbach's divorce.

Image Credit: Netflix. 

5. Begin Again: The Holiday (2008)

The Holiday scaled

Contrasted to the mostly angry and sad tracks on Red, “Begin Again” offers a lighter note. One of hope, and finding happiness after heartbreak. The 2008 film The Holiday, sees not one but four characters learning to love again after finding themselves unlucky in love, be it because of death, infidelity, lack of connection, or the crushing realization that you were just fooling yourself.

The story is set over the course of a week. There is very little time for their relationships to mature, and it’s not clear how the two couples at the end are going to manage trans-Atlantic relationships. But that’s hardly the point. They’ll manage somehow, because they took that chance and found someone that truly understood them, and loved them for who they are.

The Holiday is an utterly charming movie about four creatives who are professionally fulfilled, but personally less so. If this isn’t Taylor Swift in her Red era, then I don’t know what is.

Image Credit: Universal Pictures. 

6. Girl At Home: John Tucker Must Die

John Tucker Must Die scaled

John Tucker Must Die is not the first film to ever deal with infidelity, nor is it going to be the last. But like the Red album, it came out at a crucial time in the lives of its young audience, when the conversation about infidelity was moving away from the idea of a woman tempting a man away, and more for laying the blame where it’s due: on the playboy in question.

“Girl At Home” sees Taylor singing to someone who is interested in her, despite the very public knowledge that he is off the market and has a girl waiting for him at home. John Tucker Must Die follows Kate, a new girl at school who becomes aware that serial dater John Tucker is dating three of her classmates at the same time, knowing they are all in different cliques and do not interact with each other. When the knowledge becomes public, the four girls band together to put John in his place.

What the movie and the song have in common is the shared thread of a “girl code” among women, as well as the desire for them to put the philanderer in his place. Whether or not that lesson sticks is for another day.

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

7. The Lucky One: The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada

Not a day goes by where someone on the internet doesn’t point out that the true villain of The Devil Wears Prada isn’t Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) but rather Andi’s (Anne Hathaway) terrible friends and boyfriend. When paired with the Taylor Swift track “The Lucky One”, the song takes a similarly sympathetic point of view.

Being the young up-and-comer in a glamorous industry isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, particularly when said industry chews you up and spits you out in favour of the younger and more glamorous. In the case of “The Lucky One”, it is the established woman who winds up stepping back from it all, whereas, in The Devil Wears Prada, it is the younger one. What the two have in common though it painting a heartbreaking picture of overnight success and glamour that wind up leaving the women at the center of it all feeling broken and lonely, whether or not they choose to stay.

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

8. Starlight: Moulin Rouge!

Moulin Rouge

“Starlight” is one of the more upbeat tracks on the Red album, and evokes a real carefree, devil-may-care, ‘live while we’re young’ atmosphere. Though the film Moulin Rouge! is technically a tragedy, the first half of the turn-of-the-century doomed romance between Christian (Ewan McGregor) and Satine (Nicole Kidman) absolutely matches “Starlight” for its happy, chaotic atmosphere.

The imagery created by the lyrics seems to evoke Baz Luhrman’s film. The constant references to starry nights, for instance, and the constant mentions of dancing the night away with a ‘crowd dressed to the nines’. The repeated refrain of “what a marvelous tune” is apropos considering Moulin Rouge! is a jukebox musical, with each track instantly recognizable to the audience. There’s even a quick like about sneaking in somewhere pretending to be nobility, which is how Christian and Satine met in the first place, when she mistakes him for a duke.

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

9. Everything Has Changed: Love Hard

Love Hard

One of the brightest, sweetest gems in Netflix’s 2021 holiday lineup has been Love Hard, which stars Nina Dobrev as Natalie, a writer who matches with Jimmy O. Yang’s Josh on a dating app only to find out he isn’t who he says he is…after she goes to visit him for Christmas. As a way to make up for catfishing her, Josh offers to help set Natalie up with the person he was pretending to be, the good-looking, if vapid, Tag. Beyond being a delightful Christmas comedy, Love Hard is also a scathingly-accurate take on everything that is horrible about online dating, hitting close to home for the single romantics among us.

In “Everything Has Changed”, a duet with Ed Sheeran, he and Taylor sing about the moment you truly see someone for the first time and begin to fall. The change comes on gradually for Natalie (less so for Josh, who is already so far gone on her), and it’s only at the risk of losing Josh that she truly sees him for what he is.

Image Credit: Netflix. 

10: Nothing New: 27 Dresses

27 Dresses

There’s no rule that says a person must be in a serious relationship by a certain age, but there is no one more aware of the passage of time than someone in a relationship going nowhere, or someone aware that their life has hit a standstill.

In “Nothing New”, Taylor Swift expresses worries about what the future will look like for someone who is no longer the ingenue, the novelty. In 27 Dresses, Katherine Heigel plays Jane, a woman who has been a bridesmaid for 27 different friends but has yet to be the bride. Jane is stuck playing a never-ending second fiddle in her social life, and then eventually in her personal life as well when her boss, who she is in love with, falls for her younger sister instead. She is the kind of person who is always present, always reliable, and always taken for granted, “Nothing New” to anyone around her.

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

More Articles by Wealth of Geeks

All Too Well Sadie Sink Dylan OBrien

Review: ‘All Too Well: The Short Film’ is a Brutal and Gorgeous Filmmaking Debut for Taylor Swift

Review: ‘House of Gucci’ Dazzles with Lady Gaga and Adam Driver’s Chemistry and Charisma

The Best Adam Driver Movies (and Where to Watch Them)

Image Credit: Universal Pictures. 

This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Featured Image Credit: Maggie Lovitt 

Arezou Amin is a freelance writer with a lifelong love of Star Wars, romance, fantasy, and all things pop culture. She is the host of Space Waffles, a Star Wars-focused podcast on the Geeky Waffle network, where she also co-hosts the flagship show and writes reviews and recaps for the site.