In "Wildcats," which is sort of a sitcom stretched out, Molly McGrath (Goldie Hawn), who has waited all her life to be a football coach (but has been relegated to coaching girls' track), finally gets a varsity appointment. But, ho ho, it's not exactly the ideal job!

She's assigned to an inner-city high school, and you can't imagine the kind of zany scrapes she gets into!

For example:

Goldie arrives at Central High and gets chased down the halls by guard dogs! "Aaaaaargh!" she quips.

Goldie, in a conference with the principal (Nipsey Russell), leans back on her chair, and the chair collapses! "Aaaaaaargh!" she sallies.

In practice, a player sidles lewdly behind Goldie, who is playing center. She hikes the ball into his groin! "Aaaaargh!" he rejoins waggishly.

The humor of all these nutty messes is lost on her ex-husband (James Keach), who sues to gain custody of the couple's two daughters. Caught between family and football, Molly McGrath has to learn to stand up to her ex-husband and the principal and the other coaches and all the other men in "Wildcats."

Where is Helen Reddy when you need her?

I suppose there's not much point at this late date to complain about how all movies look and sound alike today, how dull stretches in the story are pumped up with loud music, how handy, so-called "comic" hooks (one character has a flatulence problem, another will do anything for sex, another will do anything for money) have taken the place of characterization, how directors don't even try anymore to create a real milieu.

So let's look on the bright side. Director Michael Ritchie keeps things moving along. The screen writing (by Ezra Sacks) is on the level of television, but pretty good television. Goldie looks fat and pasty, which I accepted as God's revenge for "Private Benjamin." And the movie gets some enjoyable mileage out of Tab Thacker, a 400-pound former NCAA wrestling champion who appears to be a mud slide waiting to happen.

Wildcats, opening today at area theaters, is rated R and contains considerable profanity, sexual themes and some violence.