The movie was filmed over the course of 12 years, using the same actors so you actually watch the boy grow up. You also watch him have a very common, kind of sad (fictional) life with normal struggles like divorced parents and dealing with the aftermath of the careless things adults say and do.
There's no real plot, his life is the plot but there's no climax. Despite this and its length, I wasn't especially eager for it to end, even though I don't think it needed to be quite so long. I liked it but I don't exactly know why. It might have been the mom in me, though. I found myself getting emotional at times that seemed odd -- the boy and his dad discussing Star Wars, someone wishing him a happy 15th birthday, him kissing a girl. I kept thinking back to the first version of him that we had seen, the youngest him. It was hard to watch him go through hard things that happen in life, I felt for him like you do a well-defined character in a book.
I also loved the time capsule-like quality to it. They were great with details because they weren't recreating anything. The music was perfect.
But I also recognize that it might have been boring as hell for others. I even found it kind of boring but in an enjoyable kind of way...the luxury seating and long escape from real life might have helped.
So, have I done a good job demonstrating why I'm not a movie reviewer? I liked this movie but I don't know why I liked this movie. I'm glad I saw this movie in a cushy theater but I wouldn't necessarily recommend that others see this movie in a cushy theater.
I had a great day despite all of this confusion, though. I also fully recognize the irony in me enjoying an escape from parenting by watching some other kid grow up for a few hours.
But anyway, we're going to do this whole matinee thing every month, like a book club for lazy people who like to eat popcorn and candy for lunch and sit in comfy chairs in the dark.