From a young age Katie (Briana Evigan) has loved photography but also from a young age she has known she can't live life like a normal person because she is in fact a real princess. Tired off schedules, expectations and obligations Katie takes the chance to sneak away and head in to the city with her camera except having grown up where everything is done for her she falls victim to a couple of con artists who steal her purse and her cherished camera, a gift from her late mother. It is how she comes to meet Jack (Paul Campbell) who unaware of who this attractive and naive young woman is takes pity on her. As they end up spending time together they end up getting close but the question is will Jack still feel the same when he discovers he has fallen for a bona fido princess.
When it comes to Hallmark Christmas movies I prefer those which fill you with warmth and joy rather than those who try to make you laugh with a lot of set piece gags. For that reason "Once Upon a Holiday" didn't press my holiday buttons as sadly this is one of those movies which throw a lot of gags and comical music at the audience which might entertain a younger audience but not this one. You also have the comedy of the police trying to track Katie down which every time we get a scene involving them it is signalled by a little musical riff which sounds clown like.
Part of the trouble with "Once Upon a Holiday" is in fact in the casting of Briana Evigan, an actress I like but for me is completely wrong for this sort of romantic comedy. To me Evigan has a natural power, a toughness about her which is wrong for playing cutesy and naive. Unfortunately that natural toughness causes the usually pleasant and sentimental romantic chemistry you get in a Hallmark Christmas movie doesn't materialise with Paul Campbell doing his thing and Evigan doing her thing but never doing their thing together.
What this all boils down to is that "Once Upon a Holiday" just failed to really do it for me and it seems a movie of wrong production choices from the actors to the tone with it ending up a movie seemingly aimed at a much younger audience than a Hallmark Christmas movie is aimed at.