Private Benjamin -- At the AMC Skyline, NTI White Flint, Tenley Circle and possibly other area theaters to be announced.

Is the time past for the Jewish American Princess joke, the one about the woman whose career is shopping at Lord & Taylor, and whose aspirations of perfection are directed toward her fingernails? How about the Raw Recruit joke, about the cocky kid who gets his comeuppance -- and thereby achieves true manhood -- in the Army?

If it seems a shame to throw away such venerable movie themes after so many years of service, "Private Benjamin" can be considered an act of historic preservation. In an attempt to find new uses for old plots, it has come up with a story about a Jewish American Princess who gets her comeuppance in the Army.

Goldie Hawn, who is the executive producer and star of this film, is an accomplished preservationist, having been outstandingly successful in keeping the dumb-blonde joke alive. With her Blue Willow Pattern eyes, she makes the old, chipped image look cute in a modern setting.

But even for her, the task is too much. She is required, for example, to inquire, on being issued her fatigues, "Excuse me -- is green the only color this comes in?"

A valiant effort, but the subjects were past saving. Their structure just wasn't solid enough when they were new.