A star rating of 4 out of 5.

The rise of teen-sensation Olivia Rodrigo is the subject of new Disney Plus documentary driving home 2 u (a SOUR film), which is now out on the streamer.


Throughout the 75-minute film, we follow Rodrigo recount the making of her blockbuster hit album SOUR.

Travelling across America on the route Rodrigo would often take herself, viewers are offered the glorious scenery between (and including) Los Angeles, California and Salt Lake City, Utah. Visually, driving home 2 u is gorgeous, offering a modern Western-esque snapshot of the US – barren, deserted but ultimately something to admire and devour if you're a cool teenager in the 2020s.

However, travel documentary this isn't, as at the centre of it is Rodrigo's bestselling album, SOUR, which was released to critical acclaim on 21st May 2021. Rodrigo penned the album with producer Dan Nigro, making the creative duo behind drivers license among other hits.

The pop album with punk undertones mainly discusses heartache and the angst of growing up as a teenager with feelings, and for the first time in driving home 2 u, Rodrigo talks about the background to her at-times devastating lyrics.

Taking each track one-by-one, Rodrigo details key moments in her life that brought about her now-famous songs, offering tantalising insight into the life of the superstar.

Rodrigo offers new arrangements of her ear-worms, showcasing her talent as not just a songwriter, but as a performer. But it's the former that really shines in driving home 2 u, as Rodrigo effortlessly captures a feeling, a time, a moment, within a simple singalong sentence.

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It's apparent throughout the film how Rodrigo at times struggles with releasing her art to the world, describing some of her most famous tracks as painful for her. But what comes across more than anything is her dedication and love of her craft. She may only be 19, but her power is already immense.

Each song gets equal service (bar drivers license), with Rodrigo explaining the influence behind each track without giving too many details, but enough to appease her fans. Even if as simple as 'we wanted another fun song', the songwriter seems to have inspiration for everything, most likely the main reason behind her debut album's success in a world of manufactured pop.

Without doubt, one of the crowning successes of not just her career, but also of driving home 2 u, is the extra long segment saved for drivers license. It's unsurprising really when you consider the popularity of the song that propelled her into the household name she is today (number one on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music's international charts within the first week of release).

Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo Disney+

Rodrigo starts from the beginning: a diary entry in which the singer explains how happy and excited she is to have finally got her drivers' license so she can now go to visit her boyfriend. From there, we see a simple demo from what seems like her bedroom with just the lyric, the singer and a delicate piano accompaniment.

After that, viewers see just how incredibly the song grew with the making of her first music video, single photoshoot, and first live performances on live TV, before eventually an iHeart Radio festival crowd screaming her lyrics back to her.

What's more illuminating than the origin story of drivers license is the vulnerability Rodrigo clearly still feels about the song. Throughout her narration, she constantly reminds viewers of the toll being a songwriter can take, constantly being reminded of heartache and heartbreak every performance.

Throughout driving home 2 u, Rodrigo's short narrative insights are open, honest, and will most likely please her die-hard fans. Perhaps at times those same fans will wish for more - it's tempting to demand even more from our idols once they've opened the door; this isn't as in-depth as recent films that made headlines for their exhaustive recollections (jeen-yuhs, Miss Americana), but this offers something different.

The strength of this Disney Plus doc is very much the performances, which take centre stage. Each one has a brand new arrangement, either over-emphasising the heartache or anger felt in each of Rodrigo's songs.

A particular highlight is good 4 u, which is set in a sprawling, desolate landscape. A circular platform is home to a string orchestra while Rodrigo, on her best form, dances around it. A camera track follows every movement. It's a stunning variation on the pop-punk track and really serves as a beautiful ending to this compelling film.

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