Russell Crowe fired back at his

Proof of Life director Taylor Hackford, who last week blamed the film's anemic box office on Crowe's ill-fated and highly publicized romance with leading lady Meg Ryan. "I think Taylor is being impolite, impolitic and imbecilic by saying that," Crowe said. "I think you will see that the Proof of Life box office, when it's not such a family-oriented time as Christmas, will be much higher. What we know, personally, is that we put as much effort into the process as possible and are pleased with the outcome."