If you’re someone who has TikTok, Twitter, or really any social media at all, you have most likely heard of “drivers license” and the drama that soon followed the release of the hit. With 100 million views on YouTube, 17-year-old Olivia Rodrigo came into 2021 with a bang that shocked viewers across the country.
Before we get into the review of the music video, it’s important to understand the “inspiration” behind the cinematic masterpiece that is this video. It wasn’t long before rumors about who the song was about began to spiral and fans started to speculate that Rodrigo wrote this song soon after her break up with 20-year-old Joshua Bassett in 2020. Which, while never confirmed by Rodrigo, was alluded to in a song by Sabrina Carpenter, Bassett’s new girlfriend whom he left Rodrigo for.
We won’t discuss the song Carpenter released as a way to get back at Rodrigo for “drivers licence” too much because of the overall disrespectful phrases in this song. Overall the song Carpenter wrote was unprofessional and quite frankly inappropriate. A lot of the lyrics used in that song, specifically the chorus, are not appropriate for a school website, however the line “don’t drive yourself insane”, we can discuss. It was a big slap to the face to Rodrigo because of the title of her song. Many of the other lyrics are more specifically targeting Rodrigo, especially when Carpenter brags about how she is with Basset and Rodrigo is not.
With all the new drama spinning, overwhelming support for Rodrigo came from adoring fans. It’s a situation a lot of people can relate to, and the emotion of the song is something even more people fell in love with.
At the beginning of the video, it opens with a few frames of Rodrigo driving her car down a dark road, likely representing how broken she felt after Basset left her. The lyrics confirm her loneliness in the line “but today I drove through the suburbs, crying ‘cause you weren’t around”.
A few frames later it shows Rodrigo laying on a bed with her head resting on someone’s chest. The lyrics “and you’re probably with that blonde girl, who always made me doubt. She’s so much older than me. She’s everything I’m insecure about,” are relatable to all, especially with society’s standards of beauty. Everyone has someone that they perceive as extremely beautiful, and it can make us feel bad about ourselves, so having your boyfriend leave you for that person, would probably spark some sadness for anybody.
As the song continues, it follows a theme of discovery, as if she’s trying to understand what happened to the relationship herself as she’s singing. Especially in the lines “And I know we weren’t perfect, but I’ve never felt this way for no one. And I just can’t imagine how you could be so okay now that I’m gone. Guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me. Cause you said forever now I drive alone past your street”. It’s almost as if she hasn’t come to terms with the situation and is explaining it to the audience like we are having a conversation.
In most situations when people go through breakups, they talk it out with friends or family, and in a way, that’s what Rodrigo did. She shared a heartbreaking moment in her life with 100 million people who love and support her.
Emotions aside, the way the video looks is incredible so my hat is off to director Matthew Dillon Cohen for the incredible work on this music video. The lights, driving sequences, and overall theme of this video adds so much raw emotion to the song. For example, there is a recurring frame in the video of Rodrigo hanging off of the back of a car lying on her back. Her hair is blowing in the wind and as she’s singing you can see the pavement rushing behind her head. To me this speaks to the rush of emotions she’s feeling. The adrenaline, the sadness, and possibly even the relief of expressing herself through this song. Overall the way this video is filmed is so specific to the lyrics and overall meaning, and it makes the experience of watching this video that much more enjoyable.
Overall, I love this song. Even if you haven’t been through a breakup it’s a perfect song to scream in your car, sing in the shower, or even listen to when you’re feeling sad. I rate it 10/10.