I've seen the future of relationships, and its name is Jude Law.

The actor, who was nominated for Oscars for his roles in The Talented Mr. Ripley and Cold Mountain, said he learned through press accounts that his affair with his children's nanny wounded­ his fiancée. "Following the reports in today's papers," he said in a statement, "I just want to say I am deeply ashamed and upset that I've hurt Sienna and the people most close to us."

Sienna is Sienna Miller, invariably described in the press as Law's "actress fiancée."

Although the couple's woes are as old as a typical Hollywood movie story line, what got me is the thoroughly modern way that Law discerned the impact of his actions: following the reports in today's papers.

Like he was following his investments or the weather forecast.

This, I submit, is the manner in which all of us will communicate in the future. If everyone is going to be famous for 15 minutes, then it stands to reason that everyone will learn about their misbehavior and its impact on those around them through reading the tabloids.

And the correctives will follow suit. In the old days, flowers might have been used. But the trailblazing Law felt so bad when he learned of his contretemps that he did what any responsible person in his situation would do: He sent out a press release.

Who says romance is dead?

His statement expressed his "sincere regret" to Miller, his costar in the remake of Alfie.

Despite the tender gesture, the weirdest thing happened. In the days that followed, Miller reportedly called off their wedding. She seemed to conclude that a press release wasn't quite enough.

Some people, I guess, just can't be satisfied.