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Kitchen Stories (2004)



Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 75
Fresh: 67 | Rotten: 8

By turns touching and funny, this Norwegian import offers quietly absorbing commentary on modern life and friendship.


Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 28
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 1

By turns touching and funny, this Norwegian import offers quietly absorbing commentary on modern life and friendship.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 4,962

My Rating

Movie Info

Director Bent Hamer's comedy drama Salmer Fra Kjøkkenet (Kitchen Stories) is based on the real-life social experiments conducted in Sweden during the 1950s. In the years following WWII, a research institute sets out to modernize the home kitchen by observing a handful of rural Norwegian bachelors. In the small town of Landstad, middle-aged Isak (Joachim Calmeyer) is one such research subject who regrets ever agreeing to participate in the study. Nevertheless, he is observed by Folke (Tomas


Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Jörgen Bergmark, Bent Hamer

Dec 14, 2004

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All Critics (85) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (67) | Rotten (8) | DVD (8)

An ingeniously dry and bittersweet comedy about that 1940s and '50s research.

November 29, 2004 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A prime piece of comic anthropology.

August 7, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What starts as a satire of the methodical, modernity-seeking society in Sweden ends as a heartwarming dramatic comedy in Norway.

June 11, 2004 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
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A thoroughly charming oddity. And, in the end, a moving one, too.

April 22, 2004
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Kitchen Stories is so subtle that many viewers will not be aware that it's screamingly funny.

April 15, 2004 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The droll humour, penned by Hamer with collaborator Jorgen Bergmark, works best at a non-verbal level, when the well-cast Isak and Folke are silently sizing each other up.

March 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The charm and chemistry of the two leads and subtle, wry moments of humor make for an endearing entertainment.

December 28, 2008 Full Review Source:

Not the sort of film you'd want a steady diet of, but as a change of pace from the ordinary, it's well worth a look.

February 16, 2005 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

One of those rare winning exceptions to the axiom that movies should move, this one shows what advantage can be earned when men of good will sit still together.

November 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

What you're left with is a relationship between two men that is untouched by macho posturing or any trace of anxiety -- and a perfect respite from the action flick mentality.

June 17, 2004
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

An enjoyable study of ridiculous regimentation and a sure balm to anyone who has overdosed on the efficient designs at Ikea.

April 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

A rich character piece with more than a few chuckle-worthy moments.

April 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Hamer's pacing is poky, and the 'well, duh' moral ... hits the audience well before it is revealed to the characters.

April 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

It rewards patience with persistent chuckles, and fills its humble plate.

April 8, 2004 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

Boy, just when you think all the original stories have been told, something like this comes along.

April 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

You've seen testosterone-soaked guys in films like Rambo and In the Company of Men. Now enjoy this small, quiet but warmhearted film that shows another side of men.

April 3, 2004 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

The performances are understated and touching, the humour mostly deadpan, the philosophical message subtle.

March 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

If you're in the mood for a quiet, beautifully acted little drama, liberally spiked with comedy, about the universal desires of the human heart, this may be the obscure gem you're looking for.

March 21, 2004 Full Review Source: Dallas Observer
Dallas Observer

Audience Reviews for Kitchen Stories

The anal retentive Swedes have engineered a scientific study to understand how kitchen space is used, and one place they are looking into this is a small Norwegian town. However, the researchers must NOT interact with their subjects, it ruins objectivity, and that's the set up for this understated, blase look at the desire, the need, for companionship. What's particularly funny is how the subject and researcher slowly begin to unconciously mimic one another.
January 12, 2013

Super Reviewer

Very entertaining and quirky film about a Swede who sits in a high chair and examines the kitchen behaviours of a single Norweigan man..before the survey is ruined by their eventual interaction. Very funny.
April 11, 2010
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

One of the more interesting and charming films I've seen. A lesson of friendship, communication, and the need for human interaction. The movie centers around a research study focusing on the kitchen routines and habits of single men in early 1950's Norway. The researchers are supposed to observe from a high chair in the corner, watch the men move about their kitchen and then mark it on a chart. They are not supposed to interact or speak to the research subjects. We all know...that will not last. A very touching film that reminds us how two different people can still become friends!
January 10, 2010
George Kiriyama

Super Reviewer

A quirky comedy from Norway about the budding friendship between two men thrown together through a research project regarding the kitchen habits of single men. Slow but with loads of subtle humour. Charming and rather touching.
July 30, 2009
Emily B.

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Salmer Fra Kjokkenet - Kitchen Stories (UK)
  • Kitchen Stories (Salmer fra kjøkkenet) (CA)
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