Once Upon A Holiday on Netflix opens with a little girl and her mother enjoying some time at a Christmas display. It quickly transpires that they are royalty and the little princess is just a little tired of having no time with her parents. Her mum gives her a camera and we then fast forward twenty years.
The little girl is all grown up and is now Princess Katherine of Montsaurai. Back in New York and with a packed schedule all she wants is an hour to herself. Trying to recapture her childhood Christmas, before her parents died, he heads off without telling anybody. Unfortunately, she gets robbed and gone is the camera, phone and purse. In steps Jack, who witnesses the robbery and while he can't catch the thieves he does help ‘Katie' out.
But Katie has no clue where she is in relation to her hotel and wanders off in the wrong direction. Many hours later she once again bumps into Jack outside a magic shop owned by his old friend Harry. Cold, hungry and lost, she still rejects any offer of help but does agree to head inside to the Christmas party. And so begins their relationship. However, a Princesses duties never end and the search is on to find her.
Once Upon A Holiday is actually one of the better Christmas films. Similar to plenty of others in the genre, it does involve royalty and hidden true identities. But it isn't as cliched as some and Katie, played by Briana Evigan, is a very likeable character.
Grounded and friendly, she is devoid of all the usual Princess tropes. There is good chemistry between herself and Jack, played by Paul Campbell. And in retrospect, the storyline isn't as ridiculous as some. It's quite conceivable that given a little taste of freedom and meeting a nice guy that she wouldn't want to go back.
It originally aired on Hallmark but isn't as cheesy or as glossy as some of their other offerings. It's still a Christmas movie so expect plenty of loving glances, fires glowing and carol singers but overall it's a decent Christmas movie and like Nativity 2, is perfect for a good night in!