By Jade Glaister
On May 21, 2021, the record-breaking album, “Sour” was released, and listeners were never the same. Olivia Rodrigo, the talented artist of “Sour,” poured all her thoughts and emotions into the 11 songs that make up the album. These ranged from slow and heart-wrenching to aggressive and angry to sweet and pensive, successfully bringing all listeners to tears. Now, as we’ve had some time to recover from that experience, the documentary “Driving Home 2 U (A SOUR Film)” was released on Disney Plus on March 25. This film follows Rodrigo as she drives from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, the same drive that she made while recording “Sour.” Throughout this drive, Rodrigo reflects on her album-writing experience, enhanced by her performances of every song from “Sour.” Many clips from her time recording the album are included, featuring her producer, Dan Nigro, who played a key role in the making of the album. Others also make appearances, such as the two incredible musicians, Blu DeTiger and Jacob Collier.
Rumors of Rodrigo’s inspiration behind “Sour” spread last year as songs were released, causing fans to be familiar with the artist’s heartbreak. “Driving Home 2 U” does an incredible job addressing this situation while not explicitly stating it. As many believed that Rodrigo’s album was an attempt to create drama to gain popularity, the way that this film avoids details on the topic disproves this belief while still allowing viewers to understand the story behind “Sour.” Throughout the documentary, Rodrigo discusses the mix of emotions she felt while creating the album, explaining the effects of unhealthy relationships and growing up. These conversations allow the viewer to feel closer with both Rodrigo and the album, adding more depth to it even a year after its release. Overall, the production of the film is very intimate by revealing many behind-the-scenes moments and by primarily displaying just Rodrigo herself, only showing other people in a few scenes. Since “Sour” is already a personal album, highlighting Rodrigo’s honest feelings, this documentary made me obsess over the album more than I already had… which I didn’t think was possible. Rodrigo’s performances of her album’s songs added to this obsession due to style changes in many of her songs. Some of the songs were performed more acoustically, once again adding to the intimacy of the film as her amazing voice displayed the emotions portrayed by the songs. My favorite performance was with the song “good 4 u” as an orchestra was utilized instead of the aggressive guitar and drums in the recording. The orchestra added a smooth, villain-like quality that made the performance absolutely entrancing. The combination of these scenes and performances caused “Driving Home 2 U” to be beautifully put together, causing me to enjoy the album further.