short takes (2)

* The title Love and Money sums up the themes that fascinated James Toback in his earlier pictures: ''The Gambler,'' a good one that he wrote, and ''Fingers, '' a bad one that he directed. While his films have been on a downward track, however, it was impossible to anticipate the sheer awfulness of his latest picture. With an international cast and a provocative plot about international finance and revolution, it is a messy and bad-tasting melodrama in which absolutely nothing, from the performances to the cinematography, works the way it should. It wouldn't be worth mentioning at all except for the fuss made over Toback by some critics and the erstwhile competence of such actors as Ray Sharkey, Klaus Kinski, and Ornella Muti. Let's hope Toback's next picture is called ''Skill and Intelligence.'' Both qualities are absent in this one.

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