Born in Los Angeles, CA, on October 11, 1941, Shyer broke into show business writing for television, eventually becoming one of the main contributors to The Odd Couple. His first foray into screenwriting with then-partner Alan Mandel was the smash hit Burt Reynolds vehicle Smokey and the Bandit. They would follow up that success by contributing to Jack Nicholson's directorial debut, Goin' South. They then earned Oscar nominations for their work on Goldie Hawn's 1980 film Private Benjamin. That same year he would marry Meyers, who was also a screenwriter on Benjamin. The screenwriting couple with the rhyming names also contributed to Hawn's Protocol in 1984, but that year was highlighted by the release of Shyer's directorial debut, Irreconcilable Differences. The gentle Hollywood satire, about a daughter who divorces her celebrity parents, displays the qualities and themes -- the importance of family, warm humor, and a light touch -- that would distinguish his work.
Shyer and Meyers had a huge hit at the beginning of the '90s with the remake of Father of the Bride, starring Steve Martin. Shyer's directorial career hit a snag when his 1994 Julia Roberts film I Love Trouble bombed, and a sequel to Father of the Bride the following year failed to produce any momentum. The close of the decade saw Shyer and Meyers end their personal relationship. Although it failed to light up the box office, his 2001 effort The Affair of the Necklace was a visually beautiful period piece that marked an attempt at something different from a director best known for lighthearted family comedy.