After the gag-oriented Analyze This movies, director Harold Ramis gets a chance to show his dramatic range with this character-rich noir, adapted from a novel by Scott Phillips. John Cusack stars as a Wichita mob lawyer who conspires with a dodgy pal (Billy Bob Thornton) to embezzle $2 million from a Kansas City kingpin (Randy Quaid) on Christmas Eve. While they're waiting to blow town, Cusack attends a holiday party and winds up ferrying home a wildly drunken buddy (Oliver Platt) who's now married to his ex-wife and lives in his old home. Talented old hands Richard Russo and Robert Benton collaborated on the screenplay, a funny but genuinely dark story illuminated by twinkling lights. With Connie Nielsen. R, 88 min.