There Will Be Blood is being called an American masterpiece, the best movie of the year, an epic for the ages—and now it’s joining the ranks of the Budweiser frogs and Haley Joel Osment? The movie full of grim silences and inscrutable music is also the host of the first true catchphrase of 2008, one that both fits perfectly into the film and can be applied to pretty much any event in everyday life. Ready now? Say it with me… “I. DRINK. YOUR. MILKSHAKE! I DRINK IT UP!”

Bloggers have been touting the phrase for months, since Blood began screening for critics in early December. Jeff Wells was telling Paramount in early January they ought to use the phrase as a marketing tool, while the New York Magazine Culture Vulture blog wrote a guide to proper usage around the same time. Samples: “Let’s face it. The Celtics drank the Knicks’ milkshake last night.” Or how about, “You best back down before I drink your milkshake, bitch.” I guess that if the Giants had a more decisive Superbowl victory, it could have been a chance to bring the phrase to the masses.

USA Today, usually late to the party, picked up on the trend yesterday, summing up pretty much everything above and interviewing both Paul Thomas Anderson, who directed Blood, and Jurgen Fauth, who created the website IDrinkYourMilkshake.com. Incidentally, Fauth was offering e-mail addresses at the domain to the first people who registered for the site, but as of yet, [email protected] does not exist. False advertising!

Anderson also adds a great tidbit, which is that the phrase came from a real-life Senate hearing, during the Teapot Dome scandal of the 1920’s. Senator Albert Fall explained oil drilling in this way, Anderson explained: ”'Sir, if you have a milkshake and I have a milkshake and my straw reaches across the room, I'll end up drinking your milkshake. I just took this insane concept and used it." Will the transformation of a brilliant epic into a T-shirt-ready catchphrase diminish its accomplishments? Probably not. After all, we say “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in” without tarnishing the reputation of The Godfather. The final scene in Blood may go down as more like Scarface’s over-the-top antics than the quiet saga of the Corleones, but for now, shouting the phrase in Daniel Day-Lewis’ booming baritone is just as much fun as watching the scene itself.

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