Shyer in 2012
|Born||Charles Richard Shyer
October 11, 1951
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Nancy Meyers (1980-1999; divorced; 2 children)
Deborah Lynn-Shyer (divorced; 2 children)
Charles Richard Shyer (born October 11, 1951) is an American film director, writer and producer. Shyer's films are predominantly comedies, often with a romantic-comedy overtone. His films include Private Benjamin (1980); Irreconcilable Differences (1984); Baby Boom (1987); Father of the Bride (1991); and Father of the Bride Part II (1995), The Parent Trap (1998), The Affair of the Necklace (L'Affaire du Collier) (2001), Alfie (2004) and Ieri, Oggi Domani (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow) (2012).
Shyer was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Lois (née Jones) Delaney and Melville Shyer, a production executive and film director. Shyer grew up in the film industry where his father worked with D.W. Griffith and was one of the founders of the Directors Guild of America. After attending UCLA, he was accepted into the DGA's apprenticeship program, which led to work as an assistant director. However, Shyer's focus was soon diverted to writing and he went to work as an assistant to Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson, producers of the TV series The Odd Couple. He eventually worked his way up to head writer and associate producer on the popular series in the early seventies.
After The Odd Couple, Shyer transitioned into feature films and got his first writing credit on Smokey and the Bandit (1977), starring Burt Reynolds. The following year, Shyer co-wrote Goin' South, directed by and starring Jack Nicholson, and received his first Writers Guild of America nomination for Best Screenplay for the Walter Matthau/Glenda Jackson film "House Calls" (1978).
In 1979, Shyer teamed up with Nancy Meyers and Harvey Miller to write and produce Private Benjamin, starring Goldie Hawn in the Oscar-nominated lead role of Private Judy Benjamin. Contrary to the conventional wisdom at the time, that a female lead with no male star was box office poison, this story of a pampered young woman who joins the Army was a box office success. Receiving mostly positive reviews from critics and ranking #1 at the box office its opening weekend, Private Benjamin went on to gross nearly seventy million dollars within the US and over one hundred million worldwide. The screenplay for Private Benjamin won Shyer, Meyers and Miller the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Comedy and was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Original Screenplay category. The film was also nominated for multiple Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress.
Shyer's next project, Irreconcilable Differences, marked his directorial debut. Shelley Long and Ryan O'Neal played a Hollywood couple whose obsession with success destroys their relationship with their daughter, played by an eight-year-old Drew Barrymore. Critics praised the film's even-handed treatment of both main characters and its sensitive updating of '30's comedy style. Irreconcilable Differences received multiple Golden Globe nominations, including Best Actress nods for Shelley Long and Drew Barrymore.
Like Private Benjamin, Baby Boom dealt with the role of women in a changing, feminist-influenced world, all in the form of a romantic comedy. Diane Keaton played J.C. Wiatt, a high-powered executive who unexpectedly finds herself saddled with a baby. Like Rosalind Russell's Hildy Johnson in His Girl Friday, the Wiatt character became a film prototype of the contemporary career woman. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe Award as Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy; and Keaton was also nominated as Best Actress in the same division.
In 1991, Meyers and Shyer, working from earlier material for the first time, remade the 1950 Vincente Minnelli classic Father of the Bride with Shyer directing. Father of the Bride received positive reviews from critics, including The New York Times’ Janet Maslin statement, “["Father of the Bride"] has been successfully refurbished with new jokes and new attitudes, but the earlier film’s most memorable moments have been preserved.” Steve Martin won acclaim for his performance of a father "losing" his daughter and his bank account at the same time. Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams, and Martin Short were also singled out for praise for their performances in a film that went on to become a major worldwide success. Meyers and Shyer went on the write, produce, and direct the sequel, Father of the Bride Part II, with all the principal players returning. As Touchstone Pictures' major attraction for the 1995 Christmas season, Father of the Bride, Part II opened number one at the box office and went on to gross in excess of $75 million within the U.S.
In 1997, Shyer co-wrote and produced the Meyers-directed remake of The Parent Trap. Acclaimed for its humorous, cute and stylish updating of the classic Disney film, The Parent Trap became another instant worldwide success for the team, grossing over $65 million domestically.
Shyer next tackled a period drama, The Affair of the Necklace (L'Affaire du Collier), starring Hilary Swank, Adrien Brody and Simon Baker. The film featured lush cinematography, costumes and settings in the Czech Republic and France, and garnered an Academy-Award nomination for costume designer, Milena Canonero.
In 2004, Shyer wrote, directed and produced a remake of the 1960s classic, Alfie. Alfie starred Jude Law, Susan Sarandon and Sienna Miller in her first major role. In an interview with Culture.com, Shyer mentions that he hadn't originally planned on doing another remake, but was convinced to work on the project by co-writer Elaine Pope.
In 2012, jewelry designer Liv Ballard premiered the online fashion film Ieri Oggi Domani (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow), written and directed by Shyer in his first commercial endeavor. The fashion film has since won six awards, including two from the Internet Advertising Competition: "Best Fashion Online Advertisement" and "Best of Show 2012." 
Shyer's next project is co-writing, directing and producing Eloise in Paris, for HandMade Films, based on the classic 1950s children's book. The film will shoot in London, Paris and New York, and production will begin in the spring of 2014.
Projects in development
- Sweet Little 15 - Co-Writer, Director (attached)
- Eloise in Paris - Co-Writer (screenplay), Director, Executive Producer
- The Holiday Letter - Director (attached)
- Evelyn English How Divine - Director, Producer (post-production)