Launer was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and brought up in the San Fernando valley. He attended California State University, Northridge, where, after changing his major to Film, he recognised his desire for a job writing and directing films. His first successful screen play was Ruthless People (1986).
In May 2007, his film Tom's Nu Heaven, which he produced, wrote and directed, won Best Picture at the Monaco Film Festival.
- 2005 Tom's Nu Heaven (producer, director, writer)
- 1992 Love Potion No. 9 (producer, director, writer)
- 1992 My Cousin Vinny (producer, writer)
- 1988 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (executive producer, writer)
- 1987 Blind Date(writer)
- 1986 Ruthless People (writer)
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