"Who am I?" Andrew Garfield asks at the beginning of the trailer for Mainstream. Humanity has been pondering the question for millennia — just ask Derek Zoolander — but in Gia Coppola's latest film at least, the answer is: No One Special.
Garfield plays Link, a charismatic bum who becomes a chaotic YouTube messiah after being discovered by Maya Hawke's Frankie. A bartender searching for beauty and meaning in the small life moments people tend to overlook, she's immediately drawn to Link, the kind of guy who shows up at your job in costume and gets you fired, but sounds smart doing it. He quickly becomes Frankie's muse, and after one of their videos suddenly goes viral, they — along with her friend and co-worker Jake (Nat Wolff) — find themselves to be overnight celebrities. Of course, nothing good on the internet can stay that way, and the three soon get picked up by a sleazy manager (Jason Schwartzman), and catch the eye of corporate powers who turn their anti-mainstream message into a machine. Its name? No One Special. The revolution will not be televised — but you will watch it on YouTube.
Soon enough, Link, Franky and Jake find themselves swept up in a whirlwind of fame, glitter, and greed — not to mention a love triangle. Can they control the monster that they've created?
Coppola — who yes, is related to those Coppolas — has described the movie as “a love story of being in love with someone who doesn’t love themselves set against the new emerging culture of today’s world.” In that sense, Mainstream follows in the footsteps of her 2013 coming-of-age debut Palo Alto, which centred around a group of teenagers navigating the awkward road to adulthood.
While Mainstream definitely takes on a satirical bent — how do you stay anti-mainstream when you are the influencer? — YouTubers seem to be in on the joke. The trailer features cameos from Jake Paul, Patrickstarrr, and Juanpa Zurita, who all star as themselves in the film.
Mainstream will be released on digital platforms and VOD on May 7. Watch the full trailer below: