FOXES -- AMC Academy, AMC Skyline, Beacon Mall, Fair City Mall, Jerry Lewis, K-B Cerberus, Landover, Roth's Parkway, Wheaton Plaza.

"What's going to happen to the children," asks a Noel Coward song, "when there aren't any more grown-ups?"

What makes "Foxes" somewhat different from the standard film about the trials of adolescence is that it shows a world where there aren't any more gronw-ups. The parents are all adolescents, too, interested only in junk thoughts and fast feelings.

A mother who seem to be genuinely affectionate to her teen-aged daughter, but who is plagued with her own problems of dating and homework, reaches her emotional peak when she yells, "I hate my hips!" Other parents have uncontrollable tempers, no attention spans or preoccupations with popular fads. uSo what can four young girls do who are cast adrift by them?

The answer is astonishing, because these girls are portrayed, by Jodie Foster, Cherie Currie, Marilyn Kagan and Kandice Stroh, with realistically devasting shallowness, just touched by a minimum of sensitivity. The good girl among them is the one who says, "I slept with a couple of guys in ninth grade because it was new, but I'm no Susie Slut, you know."

This makes it all the more pathetic to see these teen-agers attempt to re-invent parenthood. They do it awkwardly and ineptly because they've never seen any examples of parenthood. All their attempts to establish a home for themselves, to give a sophisticated dinner party, to salvage the worst one among them are literally wrecked. But when one of them yells at another, "If you're going to live with me, you're going to have to go by my rules" -- a statement that none of their parents is capable of making -- it becomes suprisingly clear what they crave. The solutions that the survivors find for themselves are the conventional ones, college and marriage, which their parents were too with-it to suggest.

Granted that the subject of adolescence is a messy one, the film nevertheless wanders about too messily. It lacks the charm of "Breaking Away," but it also avoids the dopiness of "Little Darlings." And through the earnestness of Foster, as the good girl, and Sally Kellerman, as her mother, it succeeds in making it sad little point.