YouTube influencer culture is a thing that completely perplexes me, an Old. I know that a lot of people younger than me make big bucks on the social media platform. I also know that I have little-to-no comprehension of how this all works. Google tells me that well-known YouTubers like Jake Paul have a net worth of $17 million. Which sounds absolutely absurd. And also, unfortunately, sounds very true.
I’ve been waiting a long time for pop culture to catch up with this whole thing and make a good movie about influencer culture. (Although, to be fair, the first truly amazing one was Ingrid Goes West.) And now that this whole thing is more mainstream, I assume I won’t be disappointed. YouTube influencer movies will surely be the next big thing. But before that all happens, I’m glad to have the trailer for Mainstream. A film that will surely tackle the problematic aspects of this world with finesse.
Gia Coppola directed Mainstream. If you’re unfamiliar with the name, she also directed the (frankly underrated) teen drama Palo Alto. She’s also part of cinematic royalty, as the granddaughter of Francis Ford Coppola and niece of Sofia Coppola. That latter name is especially important here, since it seems that Sofia’s niece is taking after her aunt when it comes to depicting the nuances of odd celebrity culture. Sofia Coppola gave us The Bling Ring, which also examined our dangerous obsession with celebs. Now, it looks like Mainstream will follow up on that thought.
Here’s the official plot of Mainstream, from IFC:
A young woman (Maya Hawke) thinks she’s found a path to internet stardom when she starts making YouTube videos with a charismatic stranger (Andrew Garfield)—until the dark side of viral celebrity threatens to ruin them both.
The cast, in addition to Garfield and Hawke, also includes Nat Wolff, Jason Schwartzman, Alexa Demie, Johnny Knoxville… and Jake Paul himself, who makes a cameo appearance in the trailer.
Mainstream hits theaters and VOD on May 7.