[Review] Olivia Rodrigo continues to astonish her fans with her Disney+ documentary


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Singer-songwriter and actress Olivia Rodrigo releases documentary “Olivia Rodrigo: driving home 2 u” that recounts the path which led to the production of her debut album “Sour.”

Isabel White, Section editor

On Friday, March 25, “Olivia Rodrigo: driving home 2 u” was released on Disney +. Directed by Stacy Lee, the 77 minute documentary follows singer-songwriter and actress Olivia Rodrigo as she recounts the path to releasing her debut album “Sour,” which hit number one on Billboard’s top album sales chart in 2021.

The film begins in Salt Lake City, UT, where Rodrigo began writing her album during her time filming for “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” The journey ends in Los Angeles, CA, where she currently lives. During her trip from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, she recounts places where she composed each song she wrote in “Sour.”

The documentary opens with Rodrigo screaming in disbelief, as she listens to her first single “drivers license,” on the car radio for the first time. The film continues to take a nostalgic trip in Rodrigo’s vintage sky-blue Ford Bronco, as she makes stops along the way to perform the songs in “Sour.” However, several of the tracks were altered in the documentary.

For example, “good 4 u” is performed in Monument Valley of the desert in Red Rock Canyon, CA, with an entire string section. Opposed to the other tracks, the strings on the track were pre-recorded. The renewed version of this song had a darker twist and was better than the original version. It sounds like it belongs in the popular Netflix series “Bridgerton.”

Another song Rodrigo performs with a twist is “traitor.” This performance was especially impressive, as she plays every instrument using a loop pedal. It’s also especially unique as it is performed at a small gas station. The only focus point of the performance is Rodrigo. Rodrigo’s emotions are very apparent in each lyric of the song.

Between songs, Rodrigo is shown in the recording studio with her producer and co-composer Dan Nigro, which were filmed in March 2021 during the final production sessions for “Sour.” One scene shows the process of them composing “brutal” in a brief 90 seconds; it was truly amazing.

The setting of the “brutal” performance is without a doubt the best in the documentary. The aggressiveness of the song is reflected in the abandoned airplane and viney background. This Mojave Air and Space Port provides the appropriate dystopian setting for the angsty song “brutal.”

Two songs are shown in the movie that are not on the official soundtrack: “crying in the parking lot” and “baby is you.” Fans hope to see these songs fully released in her next album.

The final song performed in “driving home 2 u” is “hope ur okay,” which is performed at the beach. This song has added violin tunes and ends in a hopeful tone before Rodrigo and her band leap into the calming ocean.

My only critique of the documentary is that I wish we could have seen scenes with her family and friends in the film to get a more intimate experience of Rodrigo’s journey. Nonetheless, the film was still fantastic and inspiring. I strongly suggest watching it to experience the moments behind producing “Sour.”