Chrysalis – 2001 – 73 minutes
We've had boy-band Robbie, rebel Robbie, Millennium Robbie, James Bond wannabe Robbie and now – look – it's Rat Pack Robbie. Not content with mangling Frank Sinatra standard 'Have You Met Miss Jones?' for the Bridget Jones soundtrack, Williams has decided to go the whole hog and tackle the oeuvres of Sammy, Dean and Bing as well as the late great Francis Albert. And tackle he does, with both feet flying as he massacres 'Mr Bojangles', stumbles his way through cringe-worthy scripted ad-libs and completely mobs up 'Mack The Knife'.
Complete with a pseudo-Rat Pack line-up of actors including Jane Horrocks and Rupert Everett (who acquits himself without too much shame on Gershwin's 'They Can't Take That Away From Me'), comedian Jon Lovitz and best pal Jonathan Wilkes, Robbie picks and mixes from the soundtrack of the forties, fifties and sixties.
Of all his collaborations, 'Somethin' Stupid' with Nicole Kidman works best as she coos sexily through the classic Frank and Nancy duet. But where Robbie really comes unstuck is on 'It Was A Very Good Year'. Through the fearsome wonders of modern technology, Williams and Sinatra sing together and the only comparisons that can be made would be cruel in the extreme.
Williams is a showman – he can even sing – but, in a move to extend his repertoire, he ends up stumbling miserably. Stick to being pop Robbie and we'll all be better off.
Tracklisting: I Will Talk And Hollywood Will Listen - Mack The Knife - Somethin' Stupid (with Nicole Kidman) - Do Nothing 'Till You Hear From Me - It Was A Very Good Year (with Frank Sinatra) - Straighten Up And Fly Right - Well Did You Evah? (with Jon Lovitz) - Mr. Bojangles - One For My Baby - Things (with Jane Horrocks) - Ain't That A Kick In The Head? - They Can't Take That Away From Me (with Rupert Everett) - Have You Met Miss Jones? - Me And My Shadow (with Jonathan Wilkes) - Beyond The Sea