‘Sour’ Superstar Olivia Rodrigo Brings the Sweetest Movie to Disney+ – The Aquarian
Bitter feelings mixed with an affinity for Taylor Swift songs may have helped put Olivia Rodrigo on the map, but it’s her own sweetness – her down-to-earth nature and musical spirit (which we constantly see seething with creativity in this new documentary) – which reminds us why she is staying put.
Singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo became an overnight sensation when her debut single, “Driver’s License,” hit viral status on TikTok and almost instantly went quadruple platinum in early 2021. little over a year and Rodrigo is now taking fans on an autobiographical journey – the exact road trip she’s been on many times while writing the lyrics for her Grammy-nominated album, ACID. That was when she was a passenger on those car rides from her home in Salt Lake City to her job playing Nini on the Disney+ original High School Musical: The Musical: The Series in Los Angeles that she wrote the lyrics to songs that would become Gen Z anthems, chart-topping hits, and the soundtrack to everyone’s first heartbreak (past, present, or future). Now that she has her own driver’s license, the pop sensation crams us all into her vintage Ford Bronco to talk about the raw emotions she felt as a 17-year-old budding songwriter and, appropriately, makes 11 stops along the way to give fans unique new performances of every song from their first full album.
Two major factors of ACIDThe success of was the vulnerability and relativity that Olivia Rodrigo unleashes in her lyrics. The film’s first performance, “Happier,” is filmed sitting on the floor of her empty childhood bedroom as she slowly plays the keyboard and sings “I hope you’re happy, but don’t be happier.” The pain of a teenage heartbreak, while dealing with an ex moving on, doesn’t get any rawer than this demonstration. Writing these songs was a form of catharsis and self-expression, which we learn first-hand in this documentary, but it’s the act of breathing new life into them that transforms them into tangible art that changes the life. Rodrigo slows down several of her performances for the film, including an acoustic version of “1 step forward, 3 steps back” which adds to the heartbreaking base of it as she sits in the back of the car. as she drives down an empty desert highway.
One of Rodrigo’s biggest and most immediate hits ACID in 2021 was “good 4 u”, a pop punk hit loosely inspired by Paramore’s “Misery Business”. The song had a Jennifer’s body-themed music video and captured teenage angst in music that hasn’t been successfully replicated since the days when the aforementioned Paramore and Avril Lavigne first rose to the charts. A fun, edgy single and a summer smash didn’t need the cutscene drive home 2 u treatment, but Rodrigo sued him anyway. She takes the stage in the middle of Red Rock Canyon State Park in California, turning the power pop hit into a dark room with a string orchestra. It’s a reminder that in this film, vulnerability is the foundation of every Olivia Rodrigo song, and for her, even the fastest tracks start as intimate as the teary ones.
Along with delivering these really cool new versions of his hits to unorthodox locations – “Deja Vu” in an empty drive-in theater and “Traitor” in a gas station – Rodrigo becomes aware of these emotional experiences that have gone into writing and releasing his music. The success of “driver’s license” came with the controversy and speculation behind the topics of the song, which caused drama she didn’t want. Then her second single, “Deja Vu”, being a very different sequel, was for iHeart Radio New Female Artist of the Year. She was proud of the song, but she couldn’t help but fear losing the fanbase it was building – so much so that she even tried to have the single’s release pulled. Luckily for us and her millions of fans, the team of producers behind her believed in the track, releasing it anyway before seeing it become another hit.
Available to stream today, drive home 2 u is a fine collection of performances featuring the honest confessions of a teenager struggling with heartbreak, the end of friendships, and the pressures of life in a world dominated by social media. Directed by Stacey Lee and produced by Interscope Films and Supper Club, the film immerses you in all things Acid – before, during and after its cosmic and world-record exit. Olivia Rodrigo skillfully tells her story through never-before-seen footage, unprecedented performances, and intimate conversations; taking us from suburban Salt Lake to the beaches of Malibu in this masterfully crafted documentary that’s now on Disney+.
CLICK ON HERE TO LEARN MORE AND WATCH, DRIVE HOME 2 U! WATCH OLIVIA RODRIGO’S PERFORMANCE AT THE GRAMMY AWARDS ON CBS ON SUNDAY APRIL 3!