I'm not a fan, but PW was such a mainstay of my childhood pop-cultural experience that I thought it might be worthwhile to see what this documentary had to offer, or just have a weird ride down memory lane.
On the plus side, Williams is bright, clever and down to earth - a great subject for a doc. The downside is the guy who made the movie (Kessler) puts himself in it to such a degree (and he's really an unpleasant pest) that he nearly sinks the thing.
The backstory is that the Paul Williams was Kessler's childhood idol - which doesn't go far to explaining why he assumed Williams was dead at the beginning of the picture. A Google search could have straightened that out.
Williams is clearly pissed off with Kessler (as are we) throughout most of the proceedings, but he manages to rise above it with admirable aplomb. The needling questions about Williams' reduced circumstances (no longer the celeb he was) (but 20 years sober and at peace with himself) betray Kessler's utter lack of sensitivity/empathy for his subject. Before too long, you realize the movie is really more about the filmmaker than the subject and it's only enjoyable at all despite that.
In the end, Williams' redemption, hard-earned life lessons and humanity are the takeaway. Well, that and the wardrobe howlers in the generous amount of archival TV footage included.