Once Upon a Prince (2018) – Rachel Hauck’s Quirky Romance Adapted to Film

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Once Upon a Prince (2018) – Rachel Hauck’s Quirky Romance Adapted to Film

Years ago, I read a novel titled Once Upon a Prince. I ended said reading of novel with a happy grin and a light heart. The quirky, lovable romance inside was 100% “Rissi captnip,” and remained one of my most fondly remembered novel for many years. More recently, news broke that said book was to be adapted for a Hallmark Channel original film. Now, as most of the Hallmark titles eventually do, it’s time to chat about their latest adaptation, Once Upon a Prince.

Life has gone from happy to disappointing in the span of one afternoon for Susanna Truit (Megan Park). Her boyfriend of many years has decided they are right for one another leaving Susanna, who put her life “on hold” for him, to wonder what’s next. A new friendship blossoms when she unexpectedly meets Nate Kenneth (Jonathan Keltz), a handsome stranger (a stranger with a British accent!) currently staying in their small Georgia town.

When the Truit family finds they are short-handed at their family business, Nate steps in to help fill the void. As Susanna and Nate work together at her family nursery, an unexpected bond forms between them. But when Susanna discovers Nate is actually a royal prince on holiday before his coronation, things go from simple and happy to complicated and heartbreak.

All the heart eye emojis could be placed in this text line, and it’d pretty much sum up my thoughts on this adaptation. Though I’d already read this novel back when it was first released, I did enjoy a re-read prior to watching the film, and am glad I did. Of course, what a re-read does is highlight the changes, but it also served to remind me why this story is a nostalgic favorite.

Of course, those differences between book and film script do stack up. One of the most notable changes is the impact the dissolving of Susanna’s relationship has on her. In the novel, this shift in her life is a big heartbreak – just not in the way she imagines in the beginning. Still, that emotional impact on Book Susanna makes an impression on the reader, and sets the tone for her future relationship. The second notable change is the absence of Nate’s brother, Stephen. Nonetheless, despite the changes, the film is still darling.

The cast is all good in their respective roles though I will confess, there may have been someone else I'd have liked see take on the role of Susanna. I feel like, staying with the Hallmark family, someone like Brittany Britstow, Katrina Bowden, Ali Liebert or perhaps even Andrea Brooks may have suited the part a bit better. That said, Megan does a nice job with the character, and of course the American born Jonathan Keltz (complete with authentic accent) suits the role of Nate wonderfully. Limited though her screen time is, I adore that Avery’s role is kept in the film, and can see perhaps someday a sequel telling her story. (Hint, hint, Hallmark. *smile*)

Locations are also pretty. From the well-known (to those who’ve read the novel) “Lover’s Oak” tree to the grandeur of the castle, the sets are scene or moment appropriate. All this “pro column” material and still I haven’t mentioned the best scene or moment from the film. One of the best first dance scenes ever happens in this film. Not the one at the ball (though it isn’t too shabby), but the scene that happens prior to the coronation ball. Old-fashioned, sweet and beautiful, my fangirl heart couldn’t get over this magical movie moment.

If you enjoyed the novel, or even if you haven’t read it, Once Upon a Prince is a must-see. To those of you who haven’t read the book, pick up a copy and discover the original “once upon a time” of this story. It’s worth enjoying as is this cute TV adaptation of a memorable novel.

(This post does contain affiliate links, which means – at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a link. Read the disclosure page for details.) You can read (purchase) Once Upon a Prince through Amazon Kindle or purchase a paperback copy of the novel on Amazon.

Photos: Hallmark Channel / Crown Media Press


  1. I'm glad to see you liked it, Rissi. I read the book years ago and thought it sounded like it would make a good Hallmark movie, so I was kind of excited (and nervous) when I heard it WAS going to be made into a Hallmark movie. I mean, the book was so good, and Hallmark does tend to veer away from the original storyline and even just simple little things from the original book. But I'm glad to see that you, as a lover of the original story, really enjoyed it. Can't wait to watch it!

  2. I adored this book as well. Great review! I'm glad that film turned out decently, considering. :)

    I wish it wasn't so hard to get to see Hallmark films without having a cable provider... This is one of two that I have missed this year and can't watch and just hope they'll release on Amazon at some point.


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