Olivia Rodrigo Drives Home 2 U

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Courtesy of Disney

“Olivia Rodrigo: driving home 2 u” was released on Disney+ on March 25. The film follows Rodrigo as she travels from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles and talks about her debut album.

Soraya Bettencourt, Herald Reporter

Even if you have not seen the Disney Channel show “Bizaardvark” or the more recent “High School Musical the Musical the Series (HSMTMTS),” you most certainly have heard the hit song “Driver’s License” and, as a result, the name Olivia Rodrigo. She released the smash-hit single on January 7, 2021, a day earlier than the original date to surprise fans. Also notable is her billboard hit “All I Want,” which became popular through “HSMTMTS.”

“Driver’s License” spent eight consecutive weeks at the top of the Hot 100, four of those weeks at number one. It is no surprise that this marked the beginning of a rapid rise to fame as four months later, in May of that same year, Rodrigo released her debut album, “Sour.”

“Sour” consists of 11 songs that she wrote herself, each one becoming just as popular as her first hit single. On April 3 of this year, Rodgrio won three Grammy Awards as a result of her success– Best New Artist, Pop Vocal Album and Pop Solo Performance. This 19-year-old has earned more accomplishments in the first year of her career than most artists dream of achieving in a lifetime.

On March 25, 2022, “Driving Home 2 U,” a documentary following Rodrigo’s creation of “Sour” and the subsequent whirlwind of fame, was released on Disney+. The film was directed by Stacy Lee and starred Rodrigo alongside Dan Nigro, her album’s co-writer and producer. The documentary did a good job portraying the singer’s writing process and her emotional state during that time. I think her goal was to appear as angsty as her music, and if so, she definitely hit the mark.

As a fan of Rodrigo since her Disney Channel days, it was interesting to see her in such a different light. In the film, she says she feels like she has aged five years in just the past year– I would have to agree with that. She seems older, but also different in that she is not as vulnerable in the documentary as she is in her songs. Music is the way that she communicates, and I think that explains why there is not much behind-the-scenes content or dialogue in the film portraying the star as her true and vulnerable self.

Rodrigo has announced on many occasions that her biggest inspiration is Taylor Swift. Swift also took over the music industry at a young age, and I think that is where they connect. While Taylor Swift has since had time to define herself, Rodrigo is still figuring that out.

Overall, “Driving Home 2 U” is a good watch for big fans of Olivia Rodrigo but did not entirely meet my expectations. Her music will always be beloved, but I wish I knew more about the person behind the songs, and this documentary just did not do that for me. The film would have been better if it were created after the artist had some time to reflect on the experience, like Taylor Swift in her documentary. I can imagine it is difficult to be placed under such a huge spotlight as your heartache is put on blast, so in time there may be more of a story to tell.