driving home 2 u: A Review


Photo by Teen Vogue

Olivia Rodrigo. “driving home 2 u”. The documentary. Simply, it brought me to tears. If you’re looking for something emotional, inspiring, and heart filled, you need to go watch Olivia Rodrigo’s new documentary “driving home 2 u” on Disney +. This documentary was recently released and it is Rodrigo’s first documentary of her career. It goes through the process of her hit album: Sour coming to life. Track by track Olivia relives what the journey writing these songs was like and also revisits some of the emotions and things she was going through at the time some of these songs were written. You may know her for her smashing hit “drivers license” or from her days acting on the Disney + series “High School Musical: The Musical The Series”. Rodrigo was just 17 years old when she released her first single, “drivers license” which quickly topped all the charts and became pretty much the number one song in the world. The way that they told the story of “driver’s license” in the documentary was one of my favorite parts of the film. To see the song unfold and take life was so inspiring. What started as words on paper in her bedroom turned into a performance on Saturday Night Live.
Rodrigo talks about the pressure of “drivers license” having so much success because, with it being her first single, it made the next release even harder because now the audience was expecting something. Thoughts of “is this going to be good enough” or “are people going to like this song as much as the first one” definitely took over her mind and Olivia talks about that stress and how it played a role in her songwriting. That extra level of stress also encouraged her to put her best foot forward in all of her work. Rodrigo knew right away that she wanted to release an album after “driver’s license” came out; it was just a process of when that was going to happen.
The way that this documentary was produced was very visually aesthetic to watch. The locations, the setting, the film work, the filters. It gave off a very old school, retro, euphoric vibe that tied so well into Olivia’s ora as a person and also the tone of the album and it was so raw and emotional to see the process of this album come to life. It was also so cool to listen to- she played all of her songs on the Sour album but added a little twist to all of them which I think gave such a cool effect and made me fall in love with the songs all over again. One of my favorite songs to watch her perform in this documentary was Traitor and I can’t really put it into words but it was flawless and I encourage you to pay close attention to the talent that is captured in this take of her singing Traitor.
Rodrigo has this incredible ability to portray so much emotion through her songs, her writing, and also her performing. The way she interacts with the camera in some of the scenes when she is singing is so impressive and the way she is so talented at 18 years old is crazy to me. I’ve always wondered what the process of producing and creating an album is like and it was so interesting to watch this documentary and get to see so much behind the scenes, especially about an album as iconic as Sour. from writing the songs, to recording them in studio, adding instrumentals, determining the tracklist, on and on, there are so many aspects of the album releasing process that take so much time and energy, but at the same time are so rewarding in the end. As a fan of so many current music artists I always want more, more new music, a new album, a new hit song that I can listen to on repeat, and I never really saw the flip side of how much time it takes for these things to happen and it made me appreciate music even more.
The storytelling ability that song writing has is huge, it was portrayed so well in the documentary also just to see the background of Olivia, where she grew up and where the inspiration for these hit songs came from was so interesting. Watching it felt like you were a part of her journey and along for the ride of Sour being born.
Hearing “good 4 you” be performed how it was with the instrumentals as a more orchestrated version was an out of body experience and I highly recommend you go watch that because you will not regret it. It’s so cool to hear these same songs that I have listened to over and over again in such a different way yet still loving them just the same- if not more.
Another great thing about this documentary is that if you stick around for the credits there is a new unreleased song during the credits which can only mean that we will get new music from Oliva Rodrigo in the near future. Rodrigo will be heading out on tour for the summer, kicking off in San Francisco early April 2022. I’m excited to watch Olivia’s journey continue and to see what the future has in store for her.