Olivia Rodrigo just dropped her highly anticipated documentary “Olivia Rodrigo: Driving Home 2 U,” and fans were not disappointed.
The new documentary is available to stream on Disney+ and features an abundance of behind-the-scenes footage and content that fans of Rodrigo will thoroughly enjoy.
The film details Rodrigo’s thought process and experiences that led to the creation of her critically acclaimed and Grammy award-winning debut album “SOUR.” Throughout the film, we get a peek into Rodrigo’s process in the studio with her collaborator, Dan Nigro, as well as voice-over explanations from Rodrigo behind the meaning of each song.
The documentary is filled with stunning aerial shots of Rodrigo driving through the deserts of Utah, which is where she filmed her hit Disney+ show “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.”
She explains that most of her album was created between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles which explains the many scenes of her driving throughout Utah.
The film opens with a montage of clips from the week that Rodrigo’s hit song “drivers license” was released, immediately hitting No. 1 on the charts and breaking many records. We get to see some really special and emotional moments, like when Rodrigo heard “drivers license” on the radio for the first time.
Soon after, Rodrigo explains her songwriting inspiration and the kind of music she likes to write. The process behind her songwriting is so fascinating and is reminiscent of her biggest inspiration, Taylor Swift.
She then gives a live performance of her song “happier” with her all-woman band in a beautifully artistic at-home setup.
A majority of the film goes through this format, with Rodrigo giving an explanation of the lyrics and experiences behind the songs on her album, followed by a live performance of the song she is explaining. All of the performances are unique, with Rodrigo delivering phenomenal vocals in every song, and some songs even being performed with a variation in the instrumentation.
During the performance of her song “jealousy, jealousy,” Rodrigo’s band altered the instrumentation of the song to execute a more rock-heavy delivery to the normally angsty mid-tempo teen anthem.
Similar to “jealousy, jealousy,” during the live performance of her hit song “good 4 u,” Rodrigo is solely accompanied by a string orchestra, helping to soften the intensity of the song's original early-2000s punk rock vibe.
One of my personal favorite moments in the documentary was the montage of behind-the-scenes clips from the creation of her debut hit “drivers license.” Rather than giving a live performance of the song for the documentary, Rodrigo chose to put together clips showing the progression of the song's creation and its rise in popularity.
We get to see "drivers license" progress from its original recording sessions and onward — from shooting the music video and live rehearsals to creating the single’s artwork. It all culminates in Rodrigo's debut performances, everywhere from the 2021 Brit Awards to “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
I found this segment of the film to be incredibly moving. As a young person with similar dreams and goals, it is extremely inspiring to see Rodrigo’s journey and all the success she has found in her career so far.
Overall, if you're a fan of Rodrigo or just a music fanatic who likes seeing the behind-the-scenes process of creating an album, this documentary is for you. It showcases moments of triumph and heartbreak paired with beautiful cinematography, phenomenal live performances and Rodrigo’s extraordinarily inspiring story. “Olivia Rodrigo: Driving Home 2 U” is definitely a must-watch.