‘Olivia Rodrigo: driving home 2 u (a SOUR film)’ Review: An Authentic and Aesthetic Original Film
In May of 2021, Olivia Rodrigo released her debut album Sour, which quickly made headlines for its outstanding popularity and success. Rodrigo’s music is known for its angst and heartbreak, and Driving Home 2 U takes those characteristics to a new level.
The film follows Rodrigo on a road-trip from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles. Along the way, behind-the-scenes footage of the creative process is revealed, along with interviews and new arrangements of each Sour song. The documentary allows fans to glimpse Rodrigo’s inspiration for the album and the recording experience. This authentic and intimate film invites fans to connect even deeper to Rodrigo’s music.
The film includes all 11 songs on Rodrigo’s Sour album, along with an unreleased song during the credits. Each song features behind-the-scenes footage and interviews about the individual song, followed by a performance of it. Each performance is a new arrangement of the song, ranging from a rock Jealousy, Jealousy to a violin arrangement of Good 4 U. These performances give a fresh take on each of the songs, familiar but different enough to keep the audience curious and engaged throughout the entirety of the movie, wondering what Rodrigo will do next.
The most exciting element of the film is the intimate scenes of the creative process during the writing and recording of Rodrigo’s Sour. In one scene, the artist reads a diary entry dated during the time she wrote Sour. In another, footage is displayed of Rodrigo and producer Dan Nigro first creating Brutal, which became the opening track of the album. Some of the interviews focus on Olivia Rodrigo discussing her music while reclining on her bed, relaxed and casual, as if she were talking to the audience as she would a friend. In each of these scenes, the audience feels included, and these authentic scenes help connect fans to the young artist in a remarkable way.
Throughout the film, road-trip scenery is so prevalent that the setting becomes a character in itself. Driving Home 2 U features drone footage of Rodrigo’s car driving through intriguing sights on its way to Los Angeles. The cinematography for these scenes are truly breathtaking. Although some of the aesthetic scenery shots seemed to take away from Rodrigo’s performance, they helped set the tone for the film.
The film is heavily focused on aesthetics, not only in the scenes of Rodrigo’s road-trip surroundings, but also in the performances. The GRAMMY nominated artist explains each song to the audience, and goes on to perform them in curated locations. Enough For You is performed in a forest, Deja-Vu at a halfway diner, and Hope Ur Ok on the beach. One particularly attractive shot is a birds-eye view of Rodrigo’s stage while she sings Good 4 U: a large circular glass stage in the middle of a desert that the singer and an orchestra performs on. These scenes create an appealing visual to keep audiences engaged apart from the beloved songs. This makes the film entertaining for both loyal fans of Olivia Rodrigo and newcomers who are being introduced to her through this movie.
Along with the visual scenery, Driving Home 2 U showcases Rodrigo’s style nearly as much as the music itself. Rodrigo has created an image based on what she wears, and the film does not disappoint admirers of her fashion sense. Each performance features Rodrigo in a new outfit, each as bold and stylish as the last. In addition, the footage from Rodrigo recording in the studio gives the audience a glimpse into the singer’s daily fashion.
This film is perfect for fans of Olivia Rodrigo and those who are not yet fans but are curious to learn more about her and her music. Driving Home 2 U showcases her music in a fresh and unique way, and features interviews about Rodrigo’s success, including the opportunities and struggles that go along with it.
Driving Home 2 U is available to watch on Disney+ now!